Merseyside Police has issued CCTV highlighting the dangers of nuisance scrambler bikes as officers continue to crack down, in the run up to Christmas, on people who use them anti-socially.

Over the summer, the force arrested a total of 66 people as part of Operation Brookdale, which is an annual operation dedicated to putting the brakes on people who use off-road bikes in an illegal, dangerous or anti-social way.  140 bikes were also seized which officers believed to have been stolen or used in an anti-social manner.

Following its successful conclusion, officers are now continuing their pro-active approach over the Christmas holidays. Patrols will be targeting known hot spots and areas where people tell us that scrambler bikes are being used in an illegal or anti-social way.  In particular, concerns have been raised recently in the Croxteth, West Derby and Fazakerley areas about large groups of bikes gathering in parks then being ridden dangerously across parts of Merseyside.

Officers will be patrolling these and any other areas where communities have a concern.  Letters drops are also being made to local people appealing for information about where such bikes are being stored and also highlighting some of the features they must have to be used legally on the roads.

Chief Inspector Jenny Sims said: “Whilst Operation Brookdale gives a focus over the Summer for our work across the force on nuisance scrambler bikes, I want to take this opportunity to reassure people that this is something we take pro-active action on all year round.

“Anti-social use of the bikes blights many communities on Merseyside and is something people consistently tell us they are worried about.  We know that scramblers have been gathering recently in parts of Liverpool North which are then ridden dangerously across large areas of Merseyside and I want to send a clear message that we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour.
“We have seized five bikes around Croxteth and West Derby in the last week alone and we will carry on in the run up to Christmas and over the holidays targeting nuisance riders and seizing bikes if we believe they are stolen or being ridden in a dangerous or anti-social way.”

Chief Inspector Sims added: “As an example of our commitment to tackle the problem head-on, we have released CCTV footage of a teenage male who was arrested and subsequently charged with a number of offences after riding a scrambler bike in a highly dangerous manner in Kirkby.

“During the incident, he was seen by officers using his phone, pulling numerous wheelies, driving through red lights, and riding the bike on the pavement, often missing pedestrians by just metres.
“He was detained following an operation including staff from the Matrix Serious Organised Crime Roads Policing Unit, complemented by neighbourhood patrols and air support.
“He subsequentlypleaded guilty at Youth Court to dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, driving with no insurance or licence and riding without a helmet. He was fined £100, given a nine month contract with the Knowsley Youth Offender Panel and disqualified from driving for 18 months until he has passed an extended test.

“This sends a clear message that both Merseyside Police and the courts will not tolerate this type of behaviour.  It’s only through sheer good luck that no-one was killed or seriously injured during this incident and I hope the footage makes people using scrambler bikes anti-socially think about their actions and the possible consequences.

“I would also ask parents to think very carefully if they are thinking about buying a quad bike, micro-scooter or mini-moto as a Christmas present for their children.  All these vehicles can be dangerous and there are very few places where they can be ridden legally.

“We will continue to take action where the community tells us there are problems and I would appeal to anyone who has concerns about scrambler bikes being ridden dangerously in their area to get in touch.  We know that bikes have to be stored somewhere and I would urge people who know where nuisance or stolen bikes are being kept to contact us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information can call police via the 101 number, or dial 999 in the event of an emergency or if there is a crime in progress.  Alternatively, people can pass information anonymously to Crimestoppers, 24 hours a day, on 0800 555 111.

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