Cheshire Police to crackdown on anti-social use of motorbikes

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Operational activity is being stepped up across the county to target the illegal and anti-social use of motorbikes.

'Operation Scrambler' was launched in Widnes, Runcorn and Ellesmere Port several months ago in response to concerns raised by local residents, will be rolled out to focus on riders across the rest of the county.

Officers will carry out high-visibility patrols in hotspot areas at key times and they will take action against anyone riding motor vehicles illegally and anti-socially, whether on or off road.

Chief Inspector Gareth Wrigley said: "Traditionally at this time of year, as the lighter nights set in and the weather gets warmer, we see a rise in the illegal and anti-social use of motorbikes across the county, and even though the coronavirus pandemic has seen restrictions put in place, we have still seen individuals and groups riding illegally and anti-socially on, and off, the county's roads.

"This is an issue that really matters to our communities and I want to reassure residents that we are doing all we can to crackdown on those responsible for this sort of behaviour."

Police have the power to seize scrambler bikes which are used in a way which causes harassment, alarm or distress. A warning is given first but if that fails to be effective and the bike is used in an anti-social way again it will be seized under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act.

Information from the public is vital in supporting Operation Scrambler. While members of the public have been reporting information which has proved useful and has helped officers to build up a bigger picture of what is happening across the county, officers are appealing for further information to help support investigations.

When reporting incidents of illegal and anti-social use of motorbikes, officers need as much detail as possible, including a detailed description of the bike and the rider, what they were wearing, names of the rider if possible and information about the location of where these bikes are being stored. Of particular value are photographs and videos of incidents, but police urge people to only take photos and video footage if it is safe to do so.

Chief Inspector Wrigley added: "We are grateful for the intelligence that we have already received from our communities as all of this information can be really valuable to our investigations.

"We are committed to working together with our local communities to tackle this issue. Rest assured every piece of actionable intelligence we receive will be followed up proportionately by each Local Policing Unit, and we will use this information to support any seizures and prosecutions where necessary. Our efforts will continue."

Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: "The illegal and anti-social use of motorbikes is an issue that local residents often raise and I have raised these concerns with the Chief Constable. Recent incidents have highlighted how this can have a serious impact on individuals and communities.

"The results achieved to date in Widnes, Runcorn and Ellesmere Port could not have been achieved without the support of the public. The information and intelligence that has been provided has made a vital difference and I urge the public to continue to support Operation Scrambler."

Anyone with any information in relation to the illegal or anti-social use of motorbikes is urged to contact Cheshire Police by calling 101 and quote 'Op Scrambler' or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Jane Oakes
Wednesday 10th June 2020 at 6:06 pm
Is there nothing Police can do to stop the use of motorbikes on the fields in the Dean Valley at the back of Lacey Green. The noise is so loud and can be heard on Stanneylands if not further. My biggest concern however is the welfare of the horses that graze in the Dean Valley who must be terrified.
Neda Metcalfe
Wednesday 10th June 2020 at 9:45 pm
I ring the police in a very regular basis to report the scramble bikes on lacey green pavilion off Twinnies road. Usually after waiting often 30 minutes or more to be answered I give a report with my full name address and for some strange reason my age. I am never informed if they have attended or not
Last week when the weather was particularly warm and we are sat in our gardens self isolating the 101 number was out of order so I rang 999 they took the report and said they would attend but again it carried on all evening. I have emailed and spoke to the police commissioner so if the above report is accurate I really welcome it but as this has been going on for most of the 12 years I have lived here I won’t hold my breath
David Smith
Thursday 11th June 2020 at 11:37 am
Thanks to Lisa Reeves for informing us of this latest action by our Cheshire Police.
At first glance it is heartening to see that action against the anti-social 'pain in the bum' behaviour of individuals that has been annoying residents for so long might finally be addressed so we can live better lives in our homes. If there is one thing that the Corona virus has taught us is that we could all actually get used to having less disruptive noise around us so that we can appreciate the natural music provided by birdsong or at times just be able to 'hear' ourselves thinking.
So well done the Cheshire Police and well done Jane and Neda above for doing your bit to make changes happen. It is often a long slog but if we all keep at it things should eventually change.
The area that you both feel strongly about needs to be addressed by the council via our local representatives [councillors]. It needs to be checked whether the areas that these bikes use in the Dene Valley can have access blocked off to bikes but still be available to walkers. Perhaps the installation of stiles and narrow gates would be useful. Asking anyone to go away or stop this behaviour might work for a while but return later so a permanent solution is needed.
I might add that I don't see any difference between a motorbike noise and that from an expensive, flash, exotic car that has had an exhaust 'transplant' - the likes of which we see enjoying the A34 racetrack and the Alderley Edge show off arena in particular. So how about applying the same power to seize these cars, which like the bikes, are being used in a way that causes harassment, alarm or distress?
Would any councillor [Mark Goldsmith?] police spokesperson or Cheshire East Council member like to add any supportive comment here. If you cannot then don't annoy us by saying otherwise.
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 12th June 2020 at 1:12 pm
Jane / Neda

Your local councillor is Don Stockton who can liaise with the Police and Community Support Officer to try and stop this anti-social behaviour.

His contact details are:

Bus. phone: 01625 476535
Email:

Whether Cheshire East can secure the area to stop the bikes getting onto the land will depend on if they are the landowner or not. Again, Don will be able to find this out once you explain exactly where they are riding.

Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow West & Chorley
Neda Metcalfe
Saturday 13th June 2020 at 12:50 pm
Mark thanks I will have a word with him he will be aware of it as he lives 4 doors away from me and backs onto the field in question
David Smith
Saturday 27th June 2020 at 8:46 am
If so, Neda, he is either deaf, doesn't think it is a problem having noisy bikes disturb the peace that you desire or never spends any time at his bungalow near you and actually 'lives' at his property in Alderley Edge that is supposed to be 'sold subject to contract' whatever that means. What it doesn't mean however is actually SOLD! He could of course just not be a very good councillor and doesn't pay attention to things that annoy his electorate - the people who voted him in - when he declared in his manifesto to “Continue to listen and promote your views to Council, making our area a better place to live.“

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