Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Revved Up for Action; Police Blitz on Bikes

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Revved Up for Action; Police Blitz on Bikes

Article excerpt

Byline: By SIMON WALTON

IN the sixth of our series of articles introducing Cleveland Police's new Neighbourhood Policing teams across Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland, we today focus on Grangetown, South Bank and Eston.

ONE problem in particular is blighting life for residents in the Greater Eston area - off-road motorcycles.

But the recently-formed Neighbourhood Policing team is making the illegal use of motorbikes a number one priority in the fight against crime.

Acting Inspector Kawal Singh, who is based at South Bank Police Office, is at the head of a team of 12 police constables and 11 police community support officers (PCSOs), supported by 10 community wardens.

He said the illegal use of off-road motorbikes was constantly flagged up as the biggest concern for residents in the area.

He said: "The key in tackling this or any problem is having a strong partnership - working with partner agencies.

"In relation to this particular problem we've got a strong partnership with the local authority and housing providers."

Redcar and Cleveland Council assists the police by providing CCTV footage, which allows the officers to identify offending bike riders.

Housing providers such as Coast and Country are able to help as tenants who cause anti-social behaviour may be in breach of their tenancy and subject to eviction.

Acting Insp Singh said: "They can use that as leverage for good behaviour."

Two months ago the police carried out an operation using the neighbourhood teams, the force helicopter and police off-road motorbikes.

As well as enforcement measures such as bike seizures, the team also uses diversionary tactics.

PCSOs visit schools to speak with pupils on the issues surrounding the bikes. A monthly football match is also staged to try to keep youngsters out of trouble. …

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