Cops crack down on stolen off-roaders
O Manchester police use enduro machines and drones to fight rising off-road bike crime
‘We have received a huge number of calls’ INSPECTOR NICOLA WILLIAMS
Police in the Manchester area are clamping down on illegally-ridden off-road bikes in a bid to reduce thefts, accidents and prevent criminal damage. In recent years, Manchester and its surrounding area have been inundated by riders on dirtbikes being illegally ridden both off and on-road. A high proportion of these don’t have an MOT or insurance and, in many cases, are stolen.
But it’s not just inner-city Manchester which has been affected. In the last few years the problem has expanded into outlying areas and towns like Bolton and Bury, too.
Now specialist local police forces are starting to crack down on these offenders in response to information received from the public. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) already have their own dedicated unit of Honda Crf250-riding officers whose role is to pursue perpetrators, seize stolen quads and dirt bikes and to give out warnings for inappropriate or inconsiderate riding. The force has also introduced drones to locate suspicious bikers which then, by co-ordinating with ground forces, can be stopped, their machines seized and if deemed appropriate, later crushed.
They say one of the most common places for stolen bikes to end up is urban wasteland areas and public parks. In response, GMP have now launched Operation Camenca which is intended to encourage the public to inform on perpetrators, stamp out riding in these areas and so reduce the attraction of stealing dirt bikes.
“We have received a huge number of calls about on-going problems with off-road bikers in these areas,” said Inspector Nicola Williams. “And these are just those that have been reported. We are working extremely hard to combat the problem but due to our limited resources and capabilities are unable to stop them completely. I therefore arranged for three officers from Operation Camenca to join us and seize some bikes.”
Operation Camenca is intended to cut dirt bike theft