Police Scrambler Bike Operation

Officers across Merseyside will be putting the brakes on the criminal and anti social use of scrambler bikes in six-week summer crackdown across the county.

In the last year it has become increasingly apparent that many of the riders of these bikes have a complete disregard for decent, law-abiding members in their communities. And with summer round the corner and the arrival of light nights there is a likelihood that riders of these bikes may be tempted to ride them more often, causing further disruption and misery to our communities.

Operation Brookdale will centre on areas across Merseyside where communities have suffered from the illegal and anti social use of scrambler and quad bikes. Particular attention will be paid to roads, parks and any land to which the public have access and, identified by communities as hotspots for riders involved in the illegal, or anti social use of scramblers .

Neighbourhood officers in all of the Basic Command Units (Liverpool North, Liverpool South, Wirral, Sefton, St Helens and Knowsley) will be supported by officers from the specialist Matrix team, Roads Policing Department, Vehicle Crime and the mounted and dog sections.

During the operation the following activity will take place: 

  • High visibility police patrols, including officers on scramblers and quad bikes, on roads, parkland and other public spaces
  • Plain clothes patrols
  • the use  of locally gathered intelligence to target places where illegal bikers are known to ride
  • Enforcement of traffic law on the highway to restrict the activities of legal riders on our roads
  • Education in the schools about the dangers of these bikes and the laws surrounding their use
  • Visits to petrol stations by officers and PCSOs. There are concerns that young people using these bikes illegally are able to get petrol to use the bike, and officers will be asking the petrol stations to support police in not allowing anyone under 16 to buy fuel 

Chief Superintendent Rob Carden, Area Commander of St Helens, said: "Merseyside Police will not tolerate the illegal, or anti social use of scrambler, or quad bikes. 

"Some times the riders of these bikes don't understand the consequences for local communities and the harm that the use of these bikes can cause.

 In September last year 15-year-old Liam Clark was seriously injured when two off-road motorbikes collided at the Dream sculpture in Sutton Manor. Liam has been in hospital since the day of his accident and requires 24/7 care from specially trained nurses as a result of the brain injuries he suffered during the collision. His life and the lives of his mum, Nicola, and younger brother Jamie, have altered considerably and they are still coming to terms with the life-changing injuries that Liam suffered.

 In the wrong hands these bikes are potentially lethal and people need to understand the legislation in relation to the legal use of these bikes, and the potential consequences of driving these bikes irresponsibly." 

He continued: "Working together with local people and partner agencies, we are determined to tackle riders who are blighting our neighbourhoods. Our communities should be reassured that Merseyside Police is working hard to take nuisance vehicles and and the criminals who use them off our roads."

Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing, Planning and Community Safety said: "We are sending a strong message out that anti social behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated. It brings misery to communities and we will strive to deal swiftly with such behaviour." 

Key information to the Public

To ride a mechanically propelled vehicle such as a scrambler/quad bike in a public place you are required to be insured - if you are not insured the vehicle will be seized. 

Motorcycles/quad bikes regardless of size, powered by an engine, or electric motor, can only be ridden legally on a road or in a public place if the rider has a driver's licence, insurance, MOT and vehicle excise licence, when required, and in a public place where vehicles are allowed. 

Parents who let their children ride their scrambler/quad bike in a public place may also find themselves open to prosecution. 

Police will issue Section 59 warnings under the Police Reform Act against both the rider and the machine that they are on when a bike is stopped after being used in an anti-social manner. 

Persistent use of the bikes will result in seizure, and possibly destruction of any bikes which cannot be proved to be held legally. 

General road traffic act legislation will also be used to report for summons anyone committing offences on the roads.