Police smash 'Mad Max-style' nuisance motorbike riders raising hell on Sheffield estates

The dedicated police team and some of the seized bikes.
The dedicated police team and some of the seized bikes.

A police operation to tackle 'Mad Max-style' motorbike riders raising hell on housing estates led to numerous arrests.

A dedicated team was formed to tackle the issue after Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh spoke in Parliament in July about how off-road bikers were menacing thousands of people in the city's parks and estates and compared scenes in the city to those from Mad Max, the dystopian action film starring Mel Gibson.

Fed-up Sheffield residents made 737 complaints to police about the issue in a four month period between August and November - about six calls every day.

Detectives believe drug dealing gangs have been using the off-road bikes as part of their distribution network.

But the team has just revealed their first wave of results, which included six arrests on suspicion of burglary and theft, possession of drugs and handling stolen goods.

Officers also issued formal written warnings to 64 riders for anti-social behaviour, 17 motorbikes were seized for having no insurance, 19 stolen vehicles were recovered and 10 people have been reported on summons to appear at court for various riding offences.

Inspector Jason Booth said: “After listening to members of the public and key stakeholders at community meetings, we were able to identify an emerging trend involving the use of illegal motorbikes across the city.

"People were reporting similar experiences and problems in a number of neighbourhoods, which we used to plot the bikers movements and stop them in their tracks.”

“We’ve seized motorbikes, reported individuals on summons and arrested those suspected of criminality, thanks largely to feedback from the public.

“We have our suspicions that some of the stolen bikes have been used in crimes such as burglary and drug dealing. Police bikers and dogs have been able to apprehend those riding illegally and bring them to justice.

"People should be reassured that criminal, reckless and irresponsible actions will not be tolerated.”

August saw 331 calls made to 101 by Sheffield residents wanting to report illegal bike-related incidents. That figure dropped to 152 in September, 169 incidents in October and 85 in November 2017.

Police are now working with Sheffield Council and housing providers to look at long term solutions to the problem but also urged members of the community to help in the fight against nuisance off-road motorbike riders.

Insp Booth said: “Our team is passionate about making Sheffield a safer place but we need your continued support to do so.”

Report crime by calling police on 101.