An operation targeting crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) involving motorbikes and mopeds (both traditional and electrically-powered) and e-bicycles has led to arrests and a reduction in reported ASB. Our communities were reporting increasing problems of:
- vehicle thefts
- dangerous and anti-social driving
- robbery and threatening behaviour
Offending hotspots were in Bristol, Bath, and neighbouring areas of South Gloucestershire.
The force-wide operation built on a successful local initiative started by south Bristol neighbourhood policing teams (NPTs) working with roads policing officers.
This involved identifying hotspots and offenders and targeting them with specialist resources including CID, roads policing, intelligence, drones, neighbourhoods and ASB worked closely with patrol and the communications centre to improve our response to such incidents, supported by the National Police Air Service.
The tactics led to 28 arrests or voluntary interviews – some involving the same individuals more than once – the recovery of 27 stolen motorbikes and a 35 per cent reduction in reported ASB involving two-wheeled vehicles.
A number of cases remain under investigation or are going through the courts, but many defendants cannot be named for legal reasons due to being aged under 18.
As well as criminal charges, A&S Police are using ASB legislation to impose restrictions on their behaviour, and are working with the Youth Justice Service to ensure positive requirements are added to youth rehabilitation orders, when appropriate.
Seventeen people have been given Community Protection Warnings (CPWs), including one who was handed a Community Protection Notice for breaching the conditions in the CPW. Three Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) have been issued by the court.
Harvey Mitchell, 20, of Staple Hill, was handed a five-year CBO, a community sentence and an eight-month driving ban after admitting offences including taking a motorbike without consent in Glencoyne Square, Bristol, on or around 23 August and driving it without insurance.
The CBO includes requirements not to:
- Be in possession, sit on, ride, or be passenger of any motorcycle, moped, electric bike or electric scooter in a public place
- Congregate in public with two or more people in a manner causing or likely ro cause any person to fear for their safety
- Wear a balaclava in a public place
- Associate with three named individuals
A 17-year-old boy who was released on conditional bail pending a sentencing hearing in December has been handed a CBO with similar requirements after admitting offences including:
- Possessing an offensive weapon on East Street, Bristol on 28 October
- Theft of a motor vehicle (Ducati) on Lower Castle Street, Bristol on 28 August
- Theft of a motor vehicle (Honda CRF) on Green Park, Bath on 7 September
- Two breaches of a previous CBO
A 17-year-old boy who was released on conditional bail pending a sentencing hearing in December has been handed a CBO with similar requirements after admitting offences including: Two other teenage boys charged in connection with an incident in Berkeley Square on 23 October are due in court again on 22 November.
One, aged 17, has admitted offences including driving a vehicle dangerously and aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving on Derham Road, Bristol on 26 October. The other, aged 16, has admitted offences including driving a motor vehicle which had been taken without the owner’s concern on Berkley Square, Bristol on 23 October. He has also been handed an interim CBO.
Breach of criminal behaviour order is a criminal offence and can result in up to 5 years imprisonment.
Avon and Somerset Police give tips to deter bike thieves
They recommend layers of security to make sure your motorbike is identifiable:
- Use disc locks, ideally those with mini alarms fitted, every time you leave the bike.
- Install a tracker and monitoring app.
- Chain the bike to an immovable object with a quality chain and padlock.
- Where possible park it in a busy, overlooked area, ideally with CCTV and street lighting.
- Recording the VIN and etching or stamping it in other places on the bike.
Avon and Somerset Police said: "Please tell us about any suspicious or anti-social behaviour around motorbikes. Ring 999 if a crime is underway or someone could be hurt, otherwise pass on information by calling 101 or online at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/report."