Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeNEWSnorth-east bikers hold mass ride-out in crime protest

north-east bikers hold mass ride-out in crime protest

Motorcyclists in the North-East have held a mass ride-out in protest against an alarming rise in violent crime against bikers.

The convoy rode from Washington Services, on the A1, to Etal Lane Police Station in Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle.

The protest was organised by Gary Kavanagh who says motorcyclists are carrying weapons when they go out on their bikes for fear of being attacked.

After Sunday’s ride-out, Kavanagh met with Northumbria Police’s motorcycle task force, Operation Benelli, to talk about how the two groups can help one another tackle the alarming rise in violent crime against bikers.

The 35-year-old from Denton Burn said: “Everybody knows somebody who has been affected by these crimes. And it’s not just the bikers, it’s dangerous on the roads.

“We don’t want the North East ending-up like London. We want to talk to the police about what we can do to help them and sort this problem out.”

Organised teams of young motorbike thieves are thought to be behind the theft of almost 100 bikes in just two months.

Their spate has some alarming similarities to the crimes of violent thieves on mopeds who brought terror to the streets of London, last year.

In many of the incidents, teens riding mopeds, scooters or bikes will trawl the streets looking for bikers to target before following them, said Det Chief Insp Paul Knox who heads up Operation Benelli.

Sometimes they will wait for victims to get off their bikes then use tools to rip off steering locks.

But in other crimes the thieves have rammed the motorcycle they are on into the one they want to steal, or simply pull up alongside to kick the rider off.

Police say the teams often target food delivery drivers. They have also been known to scour car parks at the Metrocentre and near Newcastle’s two universities to take bikes from shoppers and students.

Det Chief Insp Knox explained that he too was a keen motorcyclist and wanted to work with fellow bikers to tackle the problem.

“We have been very proactive in targeting this type of offending and have had a number of positive results,” he said.

“Our Operation Benelli team have not shied away from this issue and have been very robust in our response to motorcycle crime. Of course we understands concerns that some motorcycle riders will have and I want to reassure them that tackling this type of offending is one of our big priorities.

“I have a motorcycle myself and want to work closely with that community to prevent thefts and help to safeguard motorcycle riders. We will meet this group on Sunday and will be happy to sit down with them talk about how we can work together moving forward.

“Ultimately, we both want the same thing – to make our area a safer place to live.”

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