Residents in a Sheffield neighbourhood are demanding action against illegal motorcyclists after ‘reckless’ riders put the lives of 120 children at risk.
Frightened children and stunned parents looked on in disbelief as around 15 motorcycles and one quad bike tore through the Chapeltown Park last Saturday during a kite-building event.
Upon being confronted, one of the riders reportedly stopped and did a wheel-spin – spraying mud all over an event organiser.
Luckily, nobody was harmed. But in the wake of the incident, residents are urging the authorities to take action before somebody is seriously injured – or killed.
Mick Gethin, trustee of The Friends of Chapeltown Park, said: “Are we going to wait until somebody is run over? Will it take a child getting seriously injured or killed for the authorities to tackle this issue?
“Action needs to be taken now. This is not a one-off, these morons have blighted the park for years.”
Mick said the event, which gave children the opportunity to build their own kites and also watch the Sheffield Kite Fliers in action, was attended by around 120 children and their parents.
He said that around 45 minutes before the event was due to finish, illegal riders sped onto the park.
Mick said: “I could hear this noise getting louder and louder. Then, with no regard or respect for anybody, the riders tore onto the park, drove across the grass, down to the children’s play area along the path towards the Cenotaph and out of the park. It’s a wonder nobody was seriously injured. People just stood in amazement and disbelief.”
He added: “As they came close to us, I was shouting like mad. One of them stopped his bike right next to me and spun the back wheel around – spraying me with mud.”
Coun Sioned-Mair Richards, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, says the council is working police to tackle the problem.
She said: “This is extremely dangerous and reckless behaviour. Riding a motorised vehicle through a public park where there’s children about is despicable.”
Inspector Richard Burgess, from the Sheffield North East Local Policing Team, warned illegal riders that they face prosecution and risk having their bikes destroyed if caught.
He said: “We are working and meeting regularly with Sheffield City Council to robustly tackle those who choose to ride illegally and dangerously.”
To report illegal motorcycle use, call 101.