Arrests as biking crackdown launched

Police appeal
Police appeal

Merseyside Police has launched its annual crackdown on the criminal and anti-social use of off-road motorbikes in St Helens.

Five people have already been arrested after the force got Operation Brookdale under way by executing warrants at 15 properties across the region, including ones in St Helens.

Searches of the houses are ongoing and so far six off-road bikes have been seized by officers.

The strike day got the operation, which will run throughout the summer until September, started as police responded to tip-offs from residents on where it was suspected illegal bikes were being stored.

This is the fifth year Operation Brookdale has run, with 170 stolen vehicles being seized and more than 120 arrests made last year.

Offenders were detained on a range of charges, including having no insurance or licence, drink and drug driving and possession of drugs with intent to supply.

Merseyside Police superintendent Jenny Sims said: “We understand the frustration and worry that people feel when they see reckless behaviour of off-road bikes.

“They pose a danger to pedestrians and other road users, and the consequences of their illegal use can devastate families.

“Parents shouldn’t have to worry whether they and their children can enjoy our parks and open spaces, but with your help and information, we can stand together and make your areas safer.

“Operation Brookdale will be focusing on areas where communities are suffering from the illegal and anti-social use of scrambler bikes, off road vehicles and quad bikes.

“We know from previous years that the summer months brings more reported incidents, we want our communities to see that as a result we will be putting extra resources when and where issues are highlighted.

“We promise that when the community gives us information on where these vehicles are being stored, we will take action. People who store them on behalf of others may face losing their home. People who use them illegally will lose their vehicle and their licence.”

During the summer months neighbourhood officers in St Helens and Knowsley will join colleagues throughout Merseyside in being supported by the specialist roads policing unit, vehicle crime, dog and mounted sections and the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter as well as the fire brigade, council and housing agencies.

Patrols of parks and other public spaces will be stepped up, riders using the highways illegally will be stopped by traffic police and officers will be visiting petrol stations.