Scooter gang hunted by Doncaster police: police column

A crime gang on scooters is thought to have targeted shops in Doncaster East recently, write Insp Mark Payling.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 9th March 2019, 12:52 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 8:53 am

The first time we came across them, it was in the context of incidents in the early hours of February 11, when we think they had targeted supermarkets in Wheatley, Edenthorpe and Hatfield. We believed that they had been trying to get into supermarkets after they had closed.

They were trying to jemmy up the shutters, and were then seen to get onto their scooters to get away.

I am aware of an emerging issue with mopeds being used in crime. On Saturday, March 2, we seized a scooter in Stainforth, which was suspected of being stolen and believed to have been used in several nuisance incidents in the local area.

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On the night of Sunday March 3, three males wearing masks were seen on Thorne Road, Hatfield, They were followed to East Lane Stainforth, where they went off-road.

The rode off on one moped. We don’t know if they are linked to other incidents.

If you have information that may help identify these riders, please ring 101.

The Doncaster North East neighbourhood team has recently taken part in a multi-agency operation in Thorne, Moorends and Stainforth. It had some great results.

It saw:

# A total of 17 penalty charge notices issued for litter, fly tipping and parking offences in Thorne and Moorends;

# Numerous community engagements;

# A total of 61 cannabis plants recovered worth £42,000 to £61,000 on the street;

# A traffic offence report for using a mobile phone when driving;

# A spot fine for a public order offence;

# High visibility patrols;

# An area associated with nuisance behaviour cleaned up and a fire threat removed;

# 645 vehicles speed checked with 20 per cent over the limit and the fasted clocking 47mph;

# Licencing offences discovered;.

Turning to local issues, a slight rise in burglaries in Thorne has fallen again, but in Moorends we are still tackling an issue with sheds and outhouses being broken into.

I would urge people to consider protecting their shed.

Ways to do this include replacing the lock, so there is a strong padlock; replacing the door hinge using nuts and bolts and supergluing the nut to the bolt inside the door; anchoring the shed to the ground with L brackets; fitting an alarm; obscuring the windows; locking large items together; and marking your belongings.

We have increase patrols in Thorne and Moorends, leading to three people being arrested or cautioned for possession of cannabis. We have received complaints about off road bikes and recently seized one; and ran a speeding operation on February 21 on Marshland Road, Moorends. One vehicle was speeding out of 78.

In Stainforth, we have run parking patrols at Kirton Lane and Longtoft Primary Schools, and speeding operations on Kirton Lane, where six of 150 vehicles were speeding.

In Edenthorpe and Kirk Sandall we ran parking patrols at Canon Popham Primary School.

Over 20 people attended our community engagement meeting in Armthorpe. Nuisance motorbikes were highlighted, so we have deployed our off road bike team and Doncaster Council’s anti-social behaviour team. It led to two off road bikes being seized on March 3. After a number of recent thefts from vehicles, I asked local officers to check some cars parked in the area to see if they were secure. Of 127 vehicles, 11 were found unlocked.

In Hatfield ward, we conducted an operation at Moorlands Prison last week, stopping and searching visitors. Over 50 vehicles were checked. Six of those cars had their interiors swabbed, revealing traces of drugs, leading to the occupants being refused entry to the jail and. They will not be allowed in for at least three months.

I attended out first community engagement meeting in Askern last week. It raised concerns over speeding, off road bikes, and drugs. I have given an undertaking that we will make more efforts to address the issues.

It was also claimed people were not reporting crimes because they they did not feel police would do anything or cared.

I can assure residents your officers do care and do all they can to make your community safer. It is crucial officers are deployed in areas where they are needed, so I would urge residents in all areas to report crimes and incidents so I can make informed decision on where to deploy staff or any additional resources.