Merseyside Police has kicked off this summer’s Operation Brookdale scrambler bike campaign today, by crushing some of the bikes and eScooters seized by the force so far this year.
The campaign, which was originally introduced in 2012 as a response to a rise in reports of the illegal use of scrambler and off-road bikes, specifically over the summer period, is now run all year round. It also extends to eScooters, which are an emerging trend across the country but remain illegal for use on public roads (apart from those being trialled by certain councils). The force works alongside partners from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS), National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter, local authorities, housing associations, schools and youth groups, to target the anti-social and nuisance use of off-road bikes.
This summer’s operation focusses on communities across Merseyside which have been suffering from the nuisance and criminal use of off-road motorbikes, eScooters and eBikes, ranging from anti-social behaviour to their use in serious and organised crime, including firearm incidents.
Since its inception the force has seen a year-on-year decrease in reports of anti-social behaviour and nuisance involving off-road motorbikes across Merseyside. In 2016-17 there were 10,511 incidents involving off-road bikes and in the last 12 months this figure stands at 5,150, a 49% reduction. However, many of our communities continue to be affected by off-road bikes and we remain committed to targeting those who use them anti-socially and illegally.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “Nuisance bikes are a major concern for our communities and every single stolen or dangerous bike crushed today is making our region safer.
“Merseyside Police has worked really hard to tackle this issue in recent years, taking these bikes out of the hands of criminals who use them to terrorise our communities. Since March more than 180 bikes have been seized, yet they are not resting on their laurels. Todays’ event is a visible demonstration of their on-going commitment to stopping the illegal and anti-social use of these bikes.
“If we are to completely remove them from our roads, we need the public’s help. By providing information either to the police, or anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers, about where these unlicensed, uninsured bikes are being stored and who is using them, people can help the police to find them and seize them, making our streets safer for everyone.”
Chief Inspector Paul Holden said, “The success of Operation Brookdale is commendable, but we will not let up in our efforts. Each piece of information provided to us and each bike recovered only strengthens our resolve in tackling these issues for the good of our communities.
“Merseyside is a safer place with each bike seized. The number of bikes seized during this year’s operation should mean that our communities are subjected to less incidents in the future and I also hope it makes people who use off-road bikes illegally or anti-socially think very carefully about their behaviour.
“Despite our successes in seizing these bikes, we will not be complacent. We know that many of our communities continue to be blighted by scrambler bikes being ridden dangerously and I want to reassure people that our work targeting scrambler bikes will carry on throughout the year and beyond.
“We will continue to be out on patrol and to take action whenever the community tells us there are problems. I would appeal to anyone with information about illegal or nuisance scrambler bikes in their areas to get in touch with us and I can assure them that we will take action.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to continue calling police via the 101 number, or dial 999 in 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.