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A new dedicated operation to tackle illegal motorcycles in Corby, and its associated anti-social behaviour, is already making an impact across the town.
Operation Pacify was launched at the end of March by the Corby Neighbourhood Policing Team in response to ongoing concerns from residents around motorcycle nuisance.
So far, between March and June, the team has seized 24 motorcycles and sent 14 postal requisitions to riders for various offences such as driving whilst disqualified, no insurance, no driving licence and dangerous driving.
The main reasons behind the success of Operation Pacify has been down to more pro-active patrols both on foot and in an unmarked police car, enabling PC Mark Walker and PCSO Gaz Baxter to track down the motorcycles and riders as well as act on community intelligence.
The team has also changed tactics slightly when it comes to capturing evidence, and now use a handheld video camera which allows them to record footage from a distance, removing the dangers of potential pursuits or serious road collisions.
PC Walker explains: “For years, we have received numerous complaints about the “nuisance” motorcycles which have plagued our communities - riding on playfields, on footpaths and on our roads.
“This is not a nuisance - it is just highly dangerous. Not only are the riders putting their own lives at risk, but the lives of their pillion passengers, other road users and members of the public.
“There have been a few serious road traffic collisions involving illegal motorcycles in Corby, the latest of which was on Saturday (July 2), when the rider of an off-road electric motorcycle was seriously injured after colliding with stationary car.
“The aim of Operation Pacify is to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on our roads, and by using a handheld video camera, this helps us capture good quality images from a distance.
“This not only means we can do this from a safe distance, but more importantly, it removes the risk of anyone getting seriously injured or killed, because of the motorcycle being ridden erratically to evade capture.
"Once we’ve filmed a rider, we can then check CCTV footage from somewhere else to work out who owns which bikes and where they’re storing them. Basically, we’re carrying out a mini-investigation for each bike or rider.”
However, with the summer months usually comes an increase in illegal motorcycle activities and PC Walker is urging the Corby community to come together to help the good results coming in.
PC Walker added: “We’ve been working hard to tackle the on-going issues of illegal motorcycles in Corby, and although the problem hasn’t changed in scale, people are noticing it more.
“We have had some good results with seizures and are continuing to put people in front of the magistrates, but we really need the community to keep reporting the issue to us.
“Since we started Operation Pacify, we have received positive feedback from the communities which are most affected by illegal motorcycles and its associated anti-social behaviour.
“However, there is no room for complacency and still a lot more work to be done, and we need to continue collating intelligence in order to give us the best chance to seize the motorcycles and deal with the riders appropriately.”
Anyone with information about motorcycles which are being ridden illegally in their area should call Northamptonshire Police on 101. Or you can make a report online at www.northants.police.uk
Alternatively, if you prefer to remain anonymous, information can be submitted to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For regular updates on Operation Pacify, follow the team on the Kettering and Corby Facebook page.