New gates installed to deter dangerous Wellingborough motorbike yobs

The 'inhibitors' and 'diamond' rail will be installed at Queensway and Croyland parks

Monday, 24th May 2021, 7:00 am

Work has started in Wellingborough on a £14,000 project to install metal barriers designed to deter nuisance motorcyclists that illegally use the town's parks and pavements.

Residents have made numerous complaints to the police and council about the danger caused by motorbikes driving recklessly at Queensway and Croyland parks and cut throughs to nearby houses.

A crime prevention officer put in a bid for £10,000 from the Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner which was supplemented by a £4,000 grant from the former Wellingborough Council.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

l-r Steve Dunkley (cleansing manager Wellingborough Norse), Sgt Chris Stevens Northamptonshire Police, Susie Fletcher (Crime Prevention Officer), Deborah Henderson (community protection enforcement officer NNC), PCSO Ali Wallace Northamptonshire Police

'Inhibitors' - shoulder-high squeeze points- have already been installed by Wellingborough Norse at the entrance to parkland between Queensway and Shelley Road near Dale Avenue.

Deborah Henderson, community protection enforcement officer at North Northamptonshire Council, said: "The council receives frequent seasonal complaints with regards to motorcycle nuisance and its associated anti-social behaviour and so together with our partner agencies we are targeting this issue in a proactive manner.

"The council's projects and community safety teams together with Wellingborough Norse and Northants Police have worked on this motorcycle nuisance project which will restrict motorcycle entry to our parks.

"There's been near misses and people driving recklessly. We all hope that in implementing these measures, people can enjoy visiting the parks and will safer."

The inhibitors and 'diamond' rail have been funded by the office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Mobility scooters and double buggies will still be able to fit through the metal, shoulder-height entry points. Other gaps in the fence will be filled by diamond rail - a knee-height barrier to stop unwanted riders.

Susie Fletcher, crime prevention officer, said: "I put in a bid for £10,000 in December for the inhibitors and also the diamond rail. The local neighbour team had a number of complaints of motorcycle nuisance - people driving on the park and the paths causing issues for the park users by speeding and doing tricks.

"It's to deter them from getting in the park and the park users can enjoy the park in safety. They are not going to stop the motorcyclists from getting in.

"Anyone who sees anyone riding a motorbike in the park should call 101 or go online or call Crimestoppers."

The inhibitors and diamond rail near Dale Avenue at the entrance to parkland between Shelley Road and Queensway

Steve Dunkley, cleansing manager for Wellingborough Norse, and his team have been installing the gates and rails as well as chicane barriers.

He said: "They will be installed by the end of the month. It's been a real problem getting the materials because of the pandemic.

"Some of the inhibitors will also be moved to a better location."

Although there have been no serious accidents, residents regularly report the motorcycle menace prevents people enjoying the green space.

The inhibitors are designed to hinder motorcyclists rather than prevent them

Police can issue 'Section 59' tickets allow the police to give drivers a warning if they are reported to have used their vehicle in a manner which causes "alarm, distress or annoyance".

If reported to have done so again within a year the police have the right to confiscate the vehicle.

Sgt Chris Stevens from Northamptonshire Police said: "It's preventing people from enjoying the parks - we get three to four reports a day of groups of youths riding across.

"It's really difficult for my team. By the time we get on the scene, the motorbikes have got away into the estate. We regularly take them. Some are bought, some are stolen or taken without consent. Sometimes people get together and rag around.

"If we identify vehicles we knock on the door and where we have information Where we have information if we suspect we can send a letter. Where we identify vehicles we knock on their door.

"These gates will slow them down and make it a little bit easier to issue a Section 59s - we will seize the bikes if we find them."