Off-road motorbikes seized by West Midlands Police in dawn raids - The Solihull Observer

Off-road motorbikes seized by West Midlands Police in dawn raids

Solihull Editorial 31st Oct, 2017   0

SUSPECTED bike menaces got a rude awakening as West Midlands Police executed 28 dawn raids in an operation to tackle anti-social behaviour by riders.

Four bikes were seized from an industrial unit in Chelmsley Wood were among the 14 off-road and quad bikes impounded by Police while investigations into links to so called ‘Ride Outs’ that have brought chaos to the region’s roads are being carried out.

A total of 53 people were arrested and seven have now been charged with public nuisance offences. The rest are on bail and also face being taken to court.

Police swooped on an address in Castle Bromwich at 5am followed by properties in Birmingham, Solihull, the Black Country and Coventry on Monday (October 30).

One man was arrested for obstructing police during a warrant at an address in Small Heath, while a stolen scooter was recovered from a house in Yardley.

This the latest phase of police action – codenamed Operation Wraithbane – targeting illegal bike rallies that have seen louts taking to the streets on scramblers, pit bikes, mini motos and quad bikes.

Inspector Andy Bridgewater led the enforcement activity.

He said: “We’ve seen off-road bikers clogging up roads, intimidating motorists, jumping red lights, pulling stunts in the street and putting pedestrians in danger.

“Some of the video footage we’ve captured has been truly shocking: bikers ramping up kerbs and speeding along pavements, sometimes just yards away from school children.

“It’s totally unacceptable and I sympathise with anyone that’s been inconvenienced by these groups.

“People have recently been jailed in other parts of the country for such offences which shows how seriously the courts view this behaviour. We’ve also now seized a total of more than 50 bikes – and they will be destroyed if we can show they have been used anti-socially.”

A Halloween ‘Ride Out’ in 2016 saw up to 200 lout bikers – many wearing face coverings – take to the streets of Solihull and Birmingham; fireworks were hurled at other road users and a police van came under attack.

And Insp Bridgewater had a warning for anyone planning on causing trouble at similar events tonight (October 31).

He added: “People need to recognise that if they participate in ride outs they can expect a knock on the door from the police, we will seize their bikes and they can prepare for a day in court.

“West Midlands Police has pioneered the use of ‘stingers’ to deflate the tyres on offenders’ bikes and we’ve recently equipped our traffic officers with a DNA spray to tag riders and their vehicles.

“Communities are telling us they are fed up with bikers who feel they own the roads and are intimidating others; I’d urge anyone with information on who might be involved in this type of criminality, or what bikes are involved, to contact us so we can take further action.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact their neighbourhood police team via the West Midlands Police website.


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