Gangs of nuisance biker youths cause havoc in Northampton, says officer

Town centre neighbourhood police officer, Michael Rogers.
Town centre neighbourhood police officer, Michael Rogers.

A police officer has raised concerns over large groups of teenagers in Northampton pulling stunts and riding their bikes, creating dangers to road users and pedestrians.

Town centre neighbourhood police officer, Michael Rogers has said these incidents are happening all over town centre as well as Sixfields and Riverside, predominantly with teenagers aged between 11 and 15.

It stems from a YouTube group, who perform stunts and ride dangerously, which he believes is causing copy-cat gangs throughout the country to act alike, including Northampton.

He said: "We are suffering with large-scale anti-social behaviour with large gangs of youths on push bikes causing havoc most weekends. It has become such an issue, local businesses and councillors have got involved.

"The behaviour of these youths includes, cycling dangerously, performing stunts and wheelies, disrupting traffic and causing general nuisance and danger to other road users, pedestrians and themselves.

"Most of the parents of the youths involved would not be aware this is going on, blissfully unaware that when their son goes out with his mates on a Saturday on their bikes... this is what they are getting up to."

He claims Saturdays can be the worst day where up to 30 youths can congregate together in Northampton town centre.

He adds: "They will then deliberately cycle on the wrong side of the road in to oncoming traffic, especially buses, causing them to stop. Their aim is to cause as much disruption as possible, and they do, riding dangerously on the roads and pavements.

"They cause buses to stop, and then some of the group will go to the rear of the bus and hit the emergency stop button. The group have stolen bikes from other youths not connected with them, circling them like a pack of wild animals and using violence to steal their bikes. They kick cars at junctions and make off, and are basically feral when they get together in this manner.

Northamptonshire Police are carrying out on-going operations to target the problem and will seize bikes from youths where appropriate as well as prosecuting for any offences committed.

"We get numerous complaints about these youths most weekends, catching them is difficult as they make off when approached, cycling dangerously to get away from the police putting themselves and the public in more danger," he said.

"It is only a matter of time before one of the group or a member of the public is seriously hurt."