RESIDENTS and councillors ‘terrorised’ by anti-social bikers are calling on the police and council to do more to clampdown on the problem before someone is hurt.
The illegal bikers have taken to parks and streets in the south of the city and many say it is only a matter of time before the numerous close-calls result in a serious accident.
Reports have flooded in over recent weeks of bikes and scramblers – many without headlights and number plates or being ridden by riders without helmets – around Papenham Green, in Westwood Heath, and ParkWood Meadows, in Canley.
It appears bikers have also broken a fence leading onto Whitley Common, giving them access to the public ground from an old section of the A444 which became disused when the new bridge was built to the Jaguar Land Rover Whitely Engineering Centre.
Westwood Ward Councillor, Tim Mayer, said he and fellow councillors have been ‘inundated’ with reports and that it was time everyone worked together to solve the problem.
He said: “There have been numerous near-on collisions with children and cars at the junction of Gilbert Horal close and Robert Mountford Way as well as bikers riding around fields and public parks.
“And while we have been lucky with the drier weather recently, as soon as it starts to rain again these bikes could do real damage and no one wants to see their parks dug up and spoiled by the minority.”
Coun Mayer knows better than most about the dangers of reckless riding of motorcycles – having built his own bike back in 1996 before going on to buy his 1400cc Harley Davidson.
“A lot of these youngsters don’t realise that they might not get a second chance if they have a bad crash,” he told the Observer.
“And when some of them are riding at dangerous speeds in residential areas where there are always cars, people and even children around, residents, the council and police need to work together to put a stop to the bikers before someone is seriously hurt.”
Sergeant Johanna Comer, from Coventry police station, said she understood anti-social bikers were a real concern and reassured residents the force was taking the matter ‘extremely seriously’.
She added: “During the course of the coming week and throughout the summer months we will continue to take proactive steps to seize bikes which are being used illegally and prosecute their riders.
“We have the power to seize bikes and cars which are used in a way which causes harassment, alarm or distress even if the motorist has tax and insurance.”
If bikes are legal for road use, officers can issue anti-social riders with warnings.
And if these warnings are ignored, police can seize the vehicles under section 59 of the Police Reform Act and prosecute the riders.
She added: “We have increased our patrols in the area and are working closely with local businesses and partner agencies to tackle this issue.
“Anyone affected by this is urged to call us on 101 and provide as many details as possible.
“Any information which can help us identify riders and the location these vehicles are being ridden or stored is always helpful to tackle this activity.”