Special task-force set up to crackdown on motorcycle crime makes six arrests in one week
18 Apr | 14:18

A special task-force set up to crackdown on criminals using motorcycles to commit crime has arrested six teenagers in the past week.

In September last year Northumbria Police revealed the specialist team had been set up to disorder linked to motorcycles.
Initially the team were set up after complaints of anti-social behaviour and nuisance riding that was intimidating vulnerable members of the community.

But detectives quickly established that a large number of the motorcycles involved were stolen and linked to serious criminality.

Raids of properties where these motorcycles were kept has led to big seizures in stolen property, drugs, weapons and cash.

Just last month detectives on the task-force revealed that in six months they had arrested 44 people as part of the crackdown and overseen a 25 per cent reduction in incidents.

And today they have revealed they have arrested a further six teenagers - aged between 14 and 18 - suspected to have been involved in the use of stolen motorcycles across Newcastle.

They have been released under investigation but the sergeant leading the team has now encouraged more members of the public to report motorcycle disorder - as it was that kind of intelligence that led to this week’s arrests.

Detective Sergeant Craig Brown said: "Since the conception of the task force we have received a steady flow of information from the public and that has helped us make big strides in tackling this problem.

"These six arrests were only possible because of tip-offs from people who knew those individuals getting themselves involved in motorcycle disorder and serious crime.

"We want that flow of information to continue and would encourage anyone who is fed up of nuisance motorcycle riding to get in touch with us.

"These individuals aren't just behaving in an anti-social manner, we are finding that they are also getting involved in serious and violent crime.

"We have had reports of individuals using knives and weapons to forcibly take motorcycles while there have been other reports of bikes being taken from driveways or unlocked garages.

"We will not tolerate this type of criminality on our streets and anyone who we suspect to be involved should expect a knock on the door.

"If you know anyone involved in this criminality, or if you notice anyone on a motorcycle who is acting suspiciously on your street, then do the right thing and contact police."

The team covers Newcastle and Gateshead and are made up of a number of experienced and specialist officers based at Etal Lane Police Station.
They review every incident where a motorcycle has been used in the commission of a crime and try to establish any patterns of behaviour.
Victims are also spoken to in a bid to build up an intelligence picture of those involved in the disorder.
The team will then look to secure warrants on addresses and that has already resulted in a number of significant arrests and convictions.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Knox oversees the work of Det Sgt Brown and his team and last month he said the police "cannot let this behaviour go unchecked".

He said: "There are a number of different tactics we have been using to identify who they are and a number of people have already been put before the courts.
"We are trying to work with partners to identify diversionary programmes for young people but we cannot let this type of behaviour go unchecked.
"If you know anyone who has stolen a motorcycle or is riding in an anti-social manner then we need you to do the right thing and inform the police. We want you to report issues with motorcycle disorder directly to our task force. 

"If it safe to do so then take pictures, take videos and send it to our detectives so we can help make your community a better place to live."
Drugs, weapons, money and stolen property have all been seized by the task-force due to their enquiries into anti-social behaviour. 

If you want to send pictures, video or intelligence to the task-force then you can do so by emailing operationbenelli@northumbria.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101 and asking to speak to the Operation Benelli team.


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