Doncaster’s worst antisocial bikers hot spots revealed after Free Press investigation
It disturbs the peace, tears up the ground in the parks – and can put people at risk of injury.
And new information obtained by the Doncaster Free Press today reveals the worst hot spots for anti-social bikers across the borough.
The information comes as South Yorkshire Police and Doncaster Council launch a new scheme to try to tackle the problem.
Using the Freedom of information Act, we have identified the Adwick and Carcroft area of Doncaster has had the most complaints about the problem.
The figures are based on the number of complaints made using the keywords motorcycle, quad, m/cycle, motorbike or off-road.
They reveal that from September 1, 2016, until November 2018, when the force changed its reporting system, there were 14,041 reports of the problem.
And the largest number of complaints came from the Adwick and Carcroft area, as defined by Doncaster Council ward names.
There was 1,479 complaint in just over two years.
Second highest was Norton and Askern, with 1,209, while Conisbrough had the third highest figure with 1,134.
Bentley had 1,089 complaints and Hatfield 1,033.
Coun John Mounsey, who represents the Adwick and Carcroft ward on Doncaster Council, said he was not surprised by the figures.
He identified Highfield Lake, the Square, at Woodlands, and the area near Bullcroft Memorial Hall as suffering a lot of the problems in the area.
Coun Mounsey said: “The reason the figure is so high is that we ring up regularly – if we hear about a quad bike around Highfield Lake. or in the Square, at Woodlands, or near Bullcroft Memorial Hall or somewhere like that. It is rife in places like that.
“We call the police, but I understand that there numbers have been cut. They do a fantastic job with very few resources.
“The people who do this may not realise that they spoil things for other people because of the noise and the mess they make. We put barriers out to try to stop them getting into places like the parks, but within a week they find a way through a hedge.
“It’s not just our area though, it’s the whole of Doncaster. But we are seeing more and more strategies where police are coming to the hotspots more often.”
Nuisance bikers can also put themselves at serious risk. In September a biker suffered life-threatening injuries while riding an off road motorbike at Beckett Road, in Wheatley.
He was not wearing a crash helmet.
Insp Adrian Luscombe, the neighbourhoods inspector for Doncaster West, which includes the Adwick and Carcroft areas, said when officers dealt with the issue of nuisance bikers, they had to take into account where the biggest danger was the the public, not just the volume of calls.
He said the issue of nuisance bikers was an issue nationally as well as locally.
“It is a universal problem across Doncaster, and across the country,” he said. “But we need to consider the circumstances
“For instance, if there are bikers rider in Steetley Quarry, in Conisbrough, the likelihood of people getting hurt is probably less than if we have nuisance bikers on an estate in Edlington. Although there may be areas where there are more reports than others, we would look to target resources in an area that there was the most public danger.”
New scheme to be trialled
Police are trialling a new scheme in Doncaster to try to tackle anti-social motorcyclists in the borough.The Green Lane Warden Scheme is the result of extensive partnership work between officers from our Operational Support Unit, the local authority and the Trail Riders Fellowship – TRF – and was sparked by concerns about misuse of ‘Green Lanes’ and off road riding.Roads Policing Sgt Matt Duffy believes it is a positive move.
He said: “We have been aware of problems with motorcycles and quad bikes being ridden irresponsibly in parts of Doncaster for a while now and our off-road bike team have been working hard to tackle the issue. However, we know there is more that we need to do to get a grip on the problem and this new scheme is part of that.“We have recruited 10 community volunteers as wardens who will provide a high visibility presence in the areas where we have reports of ASB related to off-road bikes and quads. The wardens will be patrolling, advising people about rights of access and reporting incidents to the council and the police. They will in essence be the eyes and ears of the authorities, thereby increasing the chances of being reported when riding illegally.
“It’s as much about engagement and education as helping us with enforcement. The wardens will be talking to people about the TRF code of conduct and how to identify legal routes so all users of these areas can do so safely, legally and with respect and courtesy.”
The Green Lane Warden Scheme aims to support local and national park authorities in reducing illegal and anti-social use of motorcycles on green roads, rights of way and other land not forming parts of a road.Insp Craig Clifton, from the force’s Operational Support Unit, runs a team off specially trailed off road bikes police, who use the force’s own off road bikes to deal with the nuisance riders.
He said: “It’s easy to underestimate the impact anti-social behaviour involving motorcycles has on the community, but as part of our action so far we haven’t just seized bikes, but also drugs and weapons. On top of this you have the environmental impact for residents and businesses, including our local farmers.”Anyone who would like to report anti-social or illegal use of off-road bikes is asked to contact their local South Yorkshire Police neighbourhood team.
Nuisance bikers in numbers
The figures for all the Doncaster wards are:
Adwick and Carcroft: 1,479
Balby South: 645
Edenthorpe and Kirk Sandall: 225
Edlington and Warmsworth: 857
Hexthorpe and Balby North: 278
North and Askern: 1,209
Roman Ridge: 971
Rossington and Bawtry: 415
Stainforth and Barny Dun: 728
Thorne and Moorends: 769
Wheatley Hills and Intake: 404