We can start with helicopters this month for no other reason than I once served for a couple of years on the chopper for Merseyside Police, when police forces had their own helicopters and planes, way before NPAS (The National Police Aviation Service) became a thing.
In what that they described as a lengthy pursuit, NPAS assisted the Metropolitan Police as they chased this stolen bike through Bromley and Croydon early in the month. Utilising the helicopter allows following ground units to drop back, taking the pressure away from the police officers on the ground and giving them more time to instigate tactics to stop whatever they are pursuing. It should also take the pressure away from the rider of the stolen bike as they don’t, in theory, have anyone following them, but in a lot of cases they just carry on demonstrating their reckless riding.
NPAS and the Met – who take a lot of stick one way or another – worked wonders and managed to deploy a Stinger in front of the bike, in doing so deflating the tyres. Stingers and Stopsticks are technically called HOSTYDS, which stands for Hollow Spike Tyre Deflation System and contrary to what a lot of people think, they don’t blow the tyres out in one big burst… by puncturing the tyres with hollow spikes they allow a gradual deflation, hence the naming. The rider of this bike gave up with the tyres deflating, but still managed to fight with the cops on the ground as they tried to arrest him. Thankfully no cops were injured.
Image from Roads & Transport MPS
West Yorkshire Police Roads Policing Unit showed the stinger spike in place in the rear tyre of a Yamaha Thundercat (Old School) they deployed on. You can clearly see the hollow spike in place, put there after the rider had failed to stop for them.
Once again, they were assisted by NPAS, who operate a mixture of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft from 15 bases around the UK.
Images from West Yorkshire Roads Policing Unit
Speeding, pulling wheelies and failing stop, Nottingham Police would like to speak to the rider of this Suzuki about dangerous riding (driving) which happened in Radford on the 12th August 2022.
It was around 30°C at the time but even so, the rider’s choice of clothing leaves a lot to be desired. Okay if you’re walking to the shops, but T-shirts and shorts on a motorbike while speeding and pulling wheelies. Really?
Police Constable Ryan Baxter, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “The standard of driving on show that evening was completely unacceptable and could’ve quite easily put other road users and pedestrians at risk of harm.
“Dangerous driving in all its forms will never be tolerated on our roads and will always be met with a robust response from our officers.”
Image from Nottinghamshire Police
Still with Nottinghamshire Police, who are working with the local council in Mansfield to issue what’s called a PSPO (Public Spaces Protection Order), for an area of Mansfield where people ride off-road bikes as it looks like the local community has had enough. Nottingham Police’s dedicated off-road bike team will be patrolling the area helping to enforce the PSPO, which is an extension of one which came into force in 2016 and runs until 2025.
Inspector Kylie Davies, district commander for Mansfield, said: “People who drive and ride off-road vehicles illegally in our parks and other green spaces are not only a nuisance; they are also a considerable danger to other members of the public and to themselves.
“This new protection order will make it easier for us to do this by giving us the power to order riders away from the area, regardless of how they are behaving. If people don’t comply then we will seize their bikes.
“Our off-road team will maintain a regular presence in the area in the coming weeks and months to enforce the law and gather evidence against those who continue to ride illegally.”
Illegal riders can’t say they haven’t been warned, and while a lot of these bikes will have been bought – either legally or in dubious circumstances – some of them will be stolen. To reduce theft, it really makes sense to register your off-road bikes with the DVLA; it’s free and you don’t have to wear a reg plate on the bike. You can find out how to register and off-road bike here.
Either that or get some security marking on it so it can at least be returned to you if it gets recovered.
It’s not as if Nottinghamshire is a desert for off road riders either – I found plenty of legal tracks just by doing a quick internet search, it’s just that they require payment, a van to get there and proper kit. I know from experience that some riders who mostly ride on proper tracks will, on the odd occasion, use an illegal area because it’s handy. The caveat is that they end up mixing with all the wrong sorts… the kind of people who like the look of your bike.
Images from Nottinghamshire Police
After a day’s training with Cleveland Police, these student cops were making their way home when they saw two males, wearing balaclavas, pushing a motorcycle along the road outside the training facility.
Despite having finished training, which means they would have been off duty and not had any protective equipment or radios, they managed to recover the bike after chasing the culprits.
The bike – a Suzuki VanVan – had been reported stolen in a burglary a few days earlier and was returned to its rightful owner.
Image from Cleveland Police
Crime Trainer Detective Sergeant Jolene Bolton said: “The student officers had received their initial training on conducting criminal investigations and this incident tied in very well with the learning we delivered that day.
“Their response was first class, and is proof they have taken on board a core principle of policing: to protect people and property!
“Teamwork meant the motorbike’s owner got his property back so it can’t be used in an illegal or antisocial manner.”
Left to right: Student officers Chris Donald, Rebecca Gleeson, Kay Aithwaite and Ben Walker. Image from Cleveland Police