Police crackdown on nuisance mopeds in Thornbury
POLICE are warning moped riders they face losing their bikes if they annoy Thornbury residents.
Officers have stopped a number of riders after complaints that bikes were being ridden on footpaths, back lanes and walkways.
Those that have been caught have been given formal notice that if they are found riding in an anti-social way again police will use powers to seize their bikes.
Police have also seized a stolen Honda bike, above, fitted with number plates from another stolen vehicle in the town, after reports it had been ridden on lanes in the middle of town.
Avon and Somerset police Thornbury beat manager PC Paula Manos said four warning notices had been issued and two more were pending using legal powers under Section 59 of the Police and Reform Act.
Known as section 59 notices, they warn the owners of vehicles being driven or ridden “inconsiderately or carelessly and causing alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public” that their vehicles will be seized and removed if it happens again during the next year.
First used against “boy racers” driving cars in an anti-social way, owners of a vehicle seized and taken away have to pay a sum to get their vehicle back, plus a bill for every day their vehicle is in storage.
PC Manos said: “All the section 59 warnings that have been issued so far have come from members of the public reporting mopeds using the lanes, pathways and pedestrian walkways as short cuts, or being seen riding with a pillion passenger or not wearing helmets whilst driving around car parks.
“All of the reports get looked into and consideration firstly in all cases is whether there are other road traffic act offences that need to be dealt with or put before the court.”
PC Manos said all officers need from anyone reporting nuisance riders is the time, date, place and registration number of the vehicle being used. Further information such as a description of the rider, photos or CCTV is also very helpful.
People reporting incidents are also asked if they would be willing to support the police if the matter went to court, but PC Manos said: “The beat team have found that issuing the section 59 warning does work.
“In almost all cases, it has stopped the individual doing the same or similar things again, as they are fully aware that the warning is just that and the next time their vehicle will be seized.”
The stolen Honda was found parked in the town in June. It had registration plates stolen from a different moped a few weeks earlier, which had been reported to police.
The bike had a key snapped off in the ignition and the unique vehicle identification number on the frame was not readable. It was later identified as a bike that had been stolen in Bath in April.
Residents had reported seeing it ridden along lanes and paths near Bath Road and the Turnberries Community Centre.
Thornbury town councillor Maggie Tyrrell urged residents to keep reporting incident to the police.
She said: “The town council is concerned to hear about this anti-social behaviour and the affects on our residents, we are keen that the community support the Police in addressing this behaviour by reporting incidents using the registration number and description of the person driving and their helmet as this will enable the police to take action.”