YOBS causing moped mayhem are putting people at risk and leading to almost a call a day to police.
Today The News launches a campaign bidding to rid Havant of the scourge of yobs on two wheels amid a major police operation to crack down on the problem.
Danger driving incidents with youths riding mopeds, off-road bikes and motorcycles through Havant town centre have rocketed in the past year.
Around 306 reports were made by members of the public in the past 13 months, including from pedestrians caught up when fireworks were let off by nuisance riders in town.
Inspector Andy Clinton, who leads police in the area, said: ‘My biggest concern is that they will hurt themselves or they will hurt somebody else.
‘I’m absolutely of the belief that the individuals who own the bikes live next door to people in the area.
‘The community will see them walking up the road with them. I’d like to think people have an idea of who they are.’
He is calling on people to help identify the riders – but said police have an extensive record of the reports and are soon taking action.
‘We’re moving forward identifying the individuals and they will get a knock on the door soon,’ he said.
Off-road nuisance riders have long caused problems in Havant but have in previous years been limited to rural areas. But last year the problem escalated with riders taking non-road legal bikes through the streets.
Just yesterday a bike was seized at 1pm in yellow brick road, the path between Purbrook Way and Middle Park Way in Leigh Park.
Incidents have included:
- Four quad bikes driven through a football match at Hooks Lane.
- Bikes ridden through an alleyway at Woodstock Road.
- Fireworks let off by riders and people shot at with a BB gun.
- Rider kicked off a car wing mirror.
PCSO Jason Boulton added: ‘There’s only one reason they’re doing this: that’s to cause intimidation and harassment to the public.’
The campaign calls for:
- Better CCTV provision in Havant town centre
- Members of the public to report incidents and help identify the youths
- Raising the profile of the problem to help get parents to warn off their children from taking part.
Stopping short of backing the campaign, Havant MP Alan Mak said: ‘Small groups of nuisance bikers are a menace and I know the police are working to tackle them, but to support this effort I urge residents to report incidents and help identify these youths.’