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Handing over Petition on illegal motorcycling

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

During a recent visit to Sheffield, criminal justice Minister Harriet Harman QC MP met Heeley MP Meg Munn, the police, local councillors and members from Gleadless Valley Forum to observe the handing over of a petition urging Sheffield City Council and the police to tackle illegal motorcycling in the area. Meg Munn and Gleadless Valley councillor Rosemary Telfer organised the petition in order that local residents could show their views to the local authority and police.


Meg said:


“Local people raised concerns about the illegal motorcycling going on in Gleadless Valley. With local Councillor Rosemary Telfer, I have been campaigning to put a stop to this menace. The bikes pose a nuisance with the noise they make, but also are a threat to public safety. The number of people who signed the petition clearly shows that this is a real problem - I hope the council, police and community groups can work together to tackle the issue.”


Cllr Rosemary Telfer commented:


"The single biggest complaint I get from Gleadless Valley is about illegal and nuisance motor-biking.  These bikes usually have no licence plates, and get ridden through parks, across green open spaces, along footpaths and pavements and on main roads.  There have been a number of occasions when bikes have run into parked cars and narrowly missed injuring pedestrians.” 


“The police have been terrific in their response to my requests for help, but there are still bikes being used illegally. The petition from local residents of Gleadless Valley will bring the issue sharply into focus and keep it top of priorities which the Council and police set.”


“Thanks to Meg Munn MP and Harriet Harman QC MP for their support for our campaign. I know they will raise the issue in Westminster so that the police get stronger powers to deal with this nuisance".


Denise Fox, City Council Advisor for Anti-social behaviour, received the petition and commented:


“I am pleased to receive the petition on behalf of Sheffield City Council and I praise the campaign that Meg Munn and Councillor Telfer have undertaken. The petition clearly shows that residents of Gleadless Valley are concerned with this issue which is causing distress and anger. Illegal motorcycling is a problem across the city, and the council is working with a number of agencies to tackle the problem.”


Inspector Tim Ireland of Woodseats Safer Neighbourhood Area Team said:


“We have been heavily involved in addressing illegal motorcycling in the area: working with our partners in the community and the local authority. Over the weekend 18/19 November Woodseats SNA staff were engaged in an operation which focused on nuisance motorcycles and anti social behaviour.”


“The operation covered the whole of the SNA but focused in particular on Gleadless Valley and Lowedges, Batemoor and Jordanthorpe. We usually average 10-15 reports of 'nuisance motorbikes' each Saturday and Sunday from the public. On both dates combined there were just 4! We captured one offender who was dealt with by way of a warning notice and 2 arrests were made for anti social behaviour offences (criminal damage). I would urge people to ring the ‘101’ number for reporting anti-social behaviour as this helps us build up intelligence for future targeted policing.”


Ms Harman concluded that having experienced this growing problem in her own constituency, and hearing the views of local people and the police in Heeley constituency, she would explore with colleagues what further measures could be taken to tackle illegal motorcycling.


Meg is pictured with Inspector Tim Ireland, Cllr Rosemary Telfer, Councillor Denise Fox and Harriet Harman QC MP.

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