Bikers host protest in Northampton in a bid to raise public awareness about spate of thefts

A biker campaign group, who believe that 'bike thefts have reached epidemic proportions' have made a stand by holding a 'protest' outside the Northampton Guildhall.

Saturday, 3rd December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 1:03 pm
The Motorcycle Theft Northamptonshire played host to a peaceful protest yesterday

Up to 40 motorbike enthusiasts got together to host a peaceful demonstration in the town centre on Friday, December 2, to call on the public to get in touch with the police if they see anybody acting remotely suspicious with a motorbike.

The campaign aims to make people less worried about reporting motorbike thefts or even approaching people starting up a bike in suspicious circumstances - such as not wearing a helmet.

Adam Bracewell, spokesperson for Motorcycle Theft Northamptonshire said: “We are here to highlight the issue of motorcycle theft in the county, it is a big issue that is linked to a wider campaign we want to roll out on a national basis for next year when biking season comes in at the end of the March when the weather picks up.

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“We haven’t got all the answers, we are here today to ask questions. How can we engage with the non-biking community? These thieves are stealing bikes, which are uninsured, they are not qualified, and they ride them dangerously. Usually, they are under-aged people riding powerful machines which are effectively rockets.

“We don’t want for one of our bikes to be stolen and to find out that they have knocked down a group of children. We are calling on the public to get in touch with the police if they see anything remotely suspicious, a legitimate biker would welcome police help.

It is understood that stolen bikes have been often known to be more dangerous in the hands of the thieves, some of whom then take the vehicles for dangerous joyrides.

The spokesman added: “We want to break down the stigma of bikers being rough and ready people. Come and talk to us, we might be burly blokes with big beards but we are approachable. We are a friendly group, we are not aggressive people whatsoever.

“I would say bike thefts have reached epidemic proportions, not just here but in London, Birmingham and Leeds. We are trying to do something rather than nothing at all.

“We have had really positive feedback from everybody who has approached us. People have bought into the cause today.”

Group member, Andrew Perry of Weston Favell, who has had his motorbike stolen twice by joy riders told the Chron that it’s a horrible feeling.

He said: “It’s horrible, you spend all that money on the bike, it is your pride and joy. It makes you think what is the point of buying it if somebody is going to take it.”