Kim McGuinness is calling on Government to “urgently introduce” new bike laws that would make their use compulsory and act as a “real deterrent” to reckless riders. She is asking to allow for tracker devices to be fitted to all motorbikes so their whereabouts and speed can be monitored – a move she says would deter would-be criminals. She believes the trackers would be an “impactful tool” in the fight against bike crime and would help prevent both thefts and anti-social behaviour.
PCC McGuinness said: “A tough approach needs to be taken and I fully back our force with this, especially when engagement and education isn’t getting through to those responsible.”
“But what I really want is to go a step further and I believe trackers would be a real deterrent. There is a growing sense of momentum in our region to put a stop to this problem. I want to build on this and think government support to make trackers a real possibility would be a good place to start.”
So, what has brought this about?
Well, mainly, Residents’ concerns of bike-related anti-social behaviour.
“I’m hearing from residents that reckless riding is happening far too often and it’s happening in our parks and residential streets – the very places where people are enjoying walks and families are playing,” said Ms McGuinness. “These are things people should be able to do safely – they shouldn’t have to worry about off-road bikes speeding by and ramping up pavements.” However, she added: “It’s important for me to be clear, I don’t mean our law-abiding bikers here – I’m talking about trouble-makers, often young people riding un-roadworthy bikes, which in some cases have been stolen.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, lead member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “This type of anti-social behaviour continues to be a real concern for us in South Tyneside where we have seen these off-road bikes being ridden recklessly through our residential areas and churning up our green spaces.
“This not only affects the quality of life for our residents, but there is a danger that someone will get hurt, whether that is a member of the public or the rider themselves.
“Our parks and open spaces have proven to be valuable places for people to get their exercise over a very challenging year and we want them to be safe sites to visit. Any extra measures that can be put in place to tackle the issue of nuisance bikers would be greatly welcomed.”
The force said officers have been alerted to a dozen incidents at Fulwell Quarry Nature Reserve in Sunderland this year alone involving riders “tearing around on motorbikes, committing crime and acting in an anti-social manner”.
So, here is some sidecarland logic.
One, doesn’t she realise they will simply remove the tracker!
Two, are these so caller trouble makers going to say, yes it was me who was riding it officer!
Three, most of the bikes have been subject to a dubious past to say the least.
Four, as she states, they are off-road bikes, so why insist fitting to ALL motorcycles, these so-called trouble makers are not going to burn up the local quarry on a Goldwing. (if they can, they need to be signed up with a racing team)
So, PCC McGuinness wants to fit a tracker to every single bike “so their whereabouts and speed can be monitored”. Well, the whereabouts if you have just had your CRF250 nicked could be handy, but when Mr Plod pops around and hands you summons for speeding, riding off-road etc etc, you may well be in the position of having to prove you wasn’t the rider but it was nicked and the reason it was speeding was it was in the back of a Mercedes Sprinter doing 90…..
Now, this is where it all falls down, my guess is just about all of these bikes are not registered with the DVLA, most will have their frame and engine numbers removed, so how do you place ownership, who do you send the fine to? In fact from the horses mouth so to speak; Vehicle crime expert, Dr Ken German says that off road bike theft is a growing issue: “The difficulty is that most machines of this type are not registered for the road and therefore when they are stolen their frame and engine numbers are not recorded on the Police National Computer”.
Tracking is one thing, but why are they insisting on speed monitoring, my only conclusion is, it is an ulterior motive. Can you remember Brunstrom, the North Wales police chief, well, looks like he has an understudy.