Police threaten to crush mini-motos

POLICE in Ipswich have today warned youngsters who illegally ride mini-motorbikes that the bikes will be confiscated and crushed. Martin Barnes-Smith, inspector for west Ipswich, said plain clothes officers had been on the look-out for youngsters in the Chantry area who had no tax, MOT or insurance and said two bikes had been taken away over the weekend.

POLICE in Ipswich have today warned youngsters who illegally ride mini-motorbikes that the bikes will be confiscated and crushed.

Martin Barnes-Smith, inspector for west Ipswich, said plain clothes officers had been on the look-out for youngsters in the Chantry area who had no tax, MOT or insurance and said two bikes had been taken away over the weekend.

He said: “This is a problem all over the country.

“Children have these bikes and they don't realise they are motor vehicles and need to be licensed, insured and taxed because they are sold a lot as toys.

“They are noisy and the children ride them on pavements and footpaths.

“I think the word will now get around that people will be stopped and disciplined.”

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Insp Barnes-Smith said officers regularly looked out for such motor vehicles and had seized the bikes in the Lavender Hill area.

He said one officer heard the bikes in the area and followed the sound.

One of the youths had fled across a park but other officers stopped him and his bike was seized.

Insp Barnes-Smith said riders must ensure they were riding within the law and wearing helmets.

He also said agencies in the north west of the town were working with landowners to try to find a location where youngsters could ride their bikes away from residential areas.

Residents in the area have reported problems with mini-motorbikes to the police in the past and one resident said it was part of a serious anti-social behaviour problem in the Lavender Hill area.

However Insp Barnes-Smith said there was not a huge number of reports of such behaviour compared with other parts of the town.

He added: “We have an officer on patrol up there doing operations to respond if people are concerned and we are working with the local education authority who are sending outreach workers to work with the youngsters.

“If youngsters are being abusive and causing damage we will do something about it.”

Weblink:www.suffolk.police.uk

Do you think illegally ridden bikes should be crushed? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

A MAN who moved from Southend to Ipswich for “a quieter life” has today condemned the yobs blighting his neighbourhood by driving mini-motos through the streets.

The 44-year-old, who would not be named, said he left Essex to get away from increasing levels of crime but has been disappointed by his new life in Ipswich where he says the problem is much worse.

He said the Lavender Hill area of Chantry is suffering at the hands of youngsters who ride the streets on mini motorbikes and terrorise residents.

He said: “Most of the crime they commit is petty stuff but it is still annoying and it goes completely unchecked.

“Every time you phone the police they say they are dealing with a big incident and will turn up when they can.

“If you leave the smaller crimes unchecked they will think they can get away with it and eventually commit bigger crimes.”

The man has now lived in Ipswich for five years and said problems started almost immediately he and his parents moved into their home. He said their windows have been smashed and the youngsters in the area are abusive.

On one occasion he even claims a youngster threw a plastic bottle away which hit his 66-year-old mother on the head while she was out in her garden.

He added: “We moved away from Southend because people were being mugged and we got fed up in the neighbourhood we were living in so we decided to go somewhere more laid back but since we lived here we have had nothing but hell.”

n. Are you affected by these problems? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink: www.suffolk.police.uk

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