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  1. Published on: 08/06/2019 03:06 PMReported by: rogerblaxall
    Police launched Operation Rhine yesterday, aimed at targeting the criminal and anti-social use of scrambler bikes across West Lancashire.

    For a number of years residents across the area have suffered from illegal bikers recklessly riding on pavements, across public spaces and on roads, endangering pedestrians and motorists.

    Officers will have support from neighbourhood police and roads policing unit as part of the operation - and new tactics to tackle the issue include using a spray called SelectaDNA to tag riders, passengers and bikes with a unique but invisible dye; if suspects are arrested or bikes recovered, the spray can link offenders to criminal activities.

    Activity throughout the operation includes: - Increased patrols in areas, including parks and other public land. - Enforcement of traffic law on the highway to restrict the activities of illegal riders on our roads. - Use locally gathered intelligence to execute warrants where storage locations are identified - Visits to petrol stations by officers - Partnership work with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, West Lancashire Borough Council and housing associations.

    West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership provided the funding for the spray which will help support the police action in dealing with motorcycle nuisance.

    Heidi McDougall, West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership Chair, told QLocal yesterday at the launch at Ormskirk police station: “The use of scrambler and off road bikes across West Lancashire has blighted the community for a number of years.

    Added Heidi - pictured with PC Sean Dalby (left) and PCSO Rob Crane: "We share the frustrations of residents who see reckless behaviour from these illegal riders, with these individuals posing a danger to pedestrians and other road users, and the consequences of their illegal use can devastate families.

    “The partnership is very pleased to be able to give funding support to help this new campaign to crackdown on this activity and protect communities, ensuring parents and children can enjoy public spaces without fear of injury.

    “These new tactics and a fresh approach will hopefully make towns and villages across West Lancashire a safer place to live and allow local people to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about the bikes.”

    Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, added: "This is a real example of officers listening to residents' concerns and taking steps to make their communities safer, a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan.

    "Changing and increasing demand means that local policing is made up of far more than just neighbourhood policing.

    "With ever reducing resources from Government, officers are needed to do different roles so they can be there when the public really need them.

    "For the first time since 2010, investment is being made into policing here in Lancashire with additional officers going into every district across the county."

    Anyone with information is asked to call police on 999 if a crime is in progress, report issues online via lancashire.police.uk/reportonline or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
     

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