Officers from Merseyside Police are hailing the most successful ever crackdown on the nuisance and criminal use scrambler bikes and off-road bikes, with record numbers of seizures and arrests this summer.
On Monday, 5 September at 10am, a large number of these bikes will be crushed at Hills Salvage and Recycling Ltd in Skelmersdale.
The force has so far seized a total of 185 vehicles, including 95 confirmed stolen vehicles, which have been reunited with their owners, where possible.
A total of 150 arrests have also been made, including for driving, theft and drug offences, as part of this year’s operation.
The annual campaign is in its sixth year and has been running since the start of June. The operation has been focussed on communities across Merseyside which have been suffering from the nuisance and criminal use of off-road motorbikes, ranging from anti-social behaviour and their use in serious and organised crime, including firearm incidents.
The operation has used a number of tactics and partnerships, including air support from National Police Air Support (NPAS), CCTV footage provided by Liverpool City Council Citywatch, high visibility police patrols, education in schools and visits to petrol stations.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “I congratulate the force and all the officers, PCSOs and staff involved in this crackdown on a record year for Operation Brookdale.
“I know they have worked really hard this year to take more nuisance bikes off our streets than ever before, helping to protect our communities and keep local people safe. This has included looking at new and novel ways to tackle and arrest those who blight our neighbourhoods by riding these bikes in a dangerous, intimidating and criminal way.
“These riders have absolutely no regard for other road users and are putting innocent people, as well as their own lives, in danger. The statistics from this operation speak for themselves and highlight the importance of carrying out these campaigns.”
Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley said: “The success of Operation Brookdale so far is commendable, but we will not let up in our efforts. Each piece of information provided and bike recovered only strengthens our resolve in tackling these issues in the future, until we eradicate the problems completely.
“This year, we have continued to develop new tactics to allow respond quickly and effectively, including DNA sprays, partnership work with Citywatch, Crimestoppers, housing agencies and the Fire Service, and I would particularly like to thank members of our communities for the valuable information they keep providing, which enables such positive action to be taken.
Superintendent Jenny Sims has led the operation. She said: “We are delighted with the success of this year’s operation. 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 like this one 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.”
She added: “Despite these successes, 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 although Operation Brookdale may have finished for this year, 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 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.