Officers launch biggest ever clamp down on reckless riders in Bitterne

Police crackdown on rogue bikers

Suspects on a moped are pursued by a police car

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

RACING around the streets, riding recklessly on pavements and hurtling through alleyways – every summer gangs of youths cause misery for residents by tearing around on illegal motorbikes and mopeds.

Taking their lives in their own hands, many of those involved are joyriders who do not even bother to wear helmets or protective clothing – and often the bikes they are riding have been borrowed or even stolen.

It is a problem that has blighted people’s lives for years and one that police have struggled to stop because of tight laws that prevent officers chasing them and groups dispersing before they arrive.

Now officers in Southampton are on a mission to change all that – launching their biggest ever crackdown to target serial offenders and seize their vehicles to stop them plaguing communities over the summer.

The exact details of the clampdown, known as Operation Triumphant, cannot be revealed by the Daily Echo.

However it will focus on several Southampton neighbourhoods and will run for five years.

Bitterne has been a notorious hotspot for such crimes, which spike during the summer months as nights get lighter and school holidays begin.

Between January 2012 and November 2013 425 reports relating to vehicle nuisance were made in the area but only six warnings were handed out – something that Operation Triumphant aims to change.

Sergeant Jo Holmes, from Bitterne police station, said: “I am hoping to improve that by pushing our officers to look at these incidents completely differently and take positive action to catch those responsible.

“But that does depend on the help we get from the public and what is key for us is that those victims take down as many identifiable details as possible, because even if we can’t get there before the groups have gone, there is lots we can do.

“We hope that this renewed focus and different approach will make this a success.”

Extra high visibility police patrols and school visits will also get under way in several hotspots, including Bitterne Park, Peartree and Sholing.

Sgt Holmes is also keen to stress that this will not just be a short-term fix, the operation will continue over the next few years to ensure motorcycle nuisance is stamped out.

She added: “We are excited about this and hopefully it will make a difference. We know that this can have a real impact on people’s daily lives.

“This isn’t just an operation running this summer, this will run over the next few years and hopefully, year on year, reduce the number of antisocial behaviour linked to motorcycle nuisance.”

It is not the first time that Hampshire police have targeted illegal motorbike and moped riders.

Two years ago police launched Operation Convergance to crack down on the problem in Millbrook and Lordshill.

Then they threatened to draft in the police helicopter, which is shared with neighbouring forces, to help locate offenders who were using mini motos, scramblers and quad bikes.

Comments (17)

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10:16am Sat 17 May 14

chloexx says...

Sholing is the estate opposite the estate that is having a massive £17 million council tax facelift just in case the police can't find it because they don't respond when we report the bikes ....
Sholing is the estate opposite the estate that is having a massive £17 million council tax facelift just in case the police can't find it because they don't respond when we report the bikes .... chloexx
  • Score: 5

12:15pm Sat 17 May 14

Barbender says...

It is not only Sholing that has a problem we have the same trouble at Lordshill / Lordswood area. We have the added problem of bikers using the road between Romsey Road roundabout and Sainsburys roundabout as a race circuit at times there are several bikers using the road as a race track doing several laps at a time, it is not only hoodies on scooters that are a problem.
It is not only Sholing that has a problem we have the same trouble at Lordshill / Lordswood area. We have the added problem of bikers using the road between Romsey Road roundabout and Sainsburys roundabout as a race circuit at times there are several bikers using the road as a race track doing several laps at a time, it is not only hoodies on scooters that are a problem. Barbender
  • Score: 4

12:23pm Sat 17 May 14

Down to Earth & Sensible says...

Once caught - Destroy the bikes / machines and then Birch the Riders and if under age heavily fine their parents. That would stamp out this dangerous nonsense. Problem being; my suggestion(s) would never happen as this Country is too "Mamby-Pamby".
Once caught - Destroy the bikes / machines and then Birch the Riders and if under age heavily fine their parents. That would stamp out this dangerous nonsense. Problem being; my suggestion(s) would never happen as this Country is too "Mamby-Pamby". Down to Earth & Sensible
  • Score: 16

12:30pm Sat 17 May 14

SPIKEISLANDTRADER says...

Bitterne / Sholing / Weston / Thornhill & Harefield. All MOPED HELL . Well over due Plod operation . Catch & SCRAP the ILLEGAL PED s.
Bitterne / Sholing / Weston / Thornhill & Harefield. All MOPED HELL . Well over due Plod operation . Catch & SCRAP the ILLEGAL PED s. SPIKEISLANDTRADER
  • Score: 13

12:40pm Sat 17 May 14

wwozzer says...

Extra high visibility police patrols and school visits will also get under way in several hotspots, including Bitterne Park, Peartree and Sholing.

Bitterne Park = Townhill
Peartree = Merryoak
Sholing = Thornhill


You can seize as many bikes as you want, they'll just keep pinching more. You want to really eradicate this problem? 9pm curfew.
Extra high visibility police patrols and school visits will also get under way in several hotspots, including Bitterne Park, Peartree and Sholing. Bitterne Park = Townhill Peartree = Merryoak Sholing = Thornhill You can seize as many bikes as you want, they'll just keep pinching more. You want to really eradicate this problem? 9pm curfew. wwozzer
  • Score: 8

12:48pm Sat 17 May 14

wwozzer says...

When I lived in Itchen (ludlow road) my bike was pinched twice from a locked garage, both times the police couldn't even be bothered to come out. Both times I went looking for it and found it in Merryoak. Once in some little sh1ts back garden and the parents told me to f*#k off.

Half the problem is the scum that breed scum. Fines don't seem to work so maybe it's time to start confiscating satellite dishes as punishment.
When I lived in Itchen (ludlow road) my bike was pinched twice from a locked garage, both times the police couldn't even be bothered to come out. Both times I went looking for it and found it in Merryoak. Once in some little sh1ts back garden and the parents told me to f*#k off. Half the problem is the scum that breed scum. Fines don't seem to work so maybe it's time to start confiscating satellite dishes as punishment. wwozzer
  • Score: 23

3:33pm Sat 17 May 14

countrywench says...

Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ?
They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them ..
Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet !
Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ? They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them .. Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet ! countrywench
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Sat 17 May 14

Ginger_cyclist says...

countrywench wrote:
Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ?
They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them ..
Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet !
While I agree loud bikes can be a nuisance when being revved a lot, I disagree that you should make them quieter as the noise makes the bikes more noticable in traffic.
Remember, loud pipes save lives.
[quote][p][bold]countrywench[/bold] wrote: Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ? They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them .. Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet ![/p][/quote]While I agree loud bikes can be a nuisance when being revved a lot, I disagree that you should make them quieter as the noise makes the bikes more noticable in traffic. Remember, loud pipes save lives. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: -2

6:12pm Sat 17 May 14

Mary80 says...

The little sh!ts also drive around millers pond as i can hear them late at night yet the police do NOTHING. If they refuse to do anything about the little fackers kicking their ball at my windows i doubt they do anything about the bikers
The little sh!ts also drive around millers pond as i can hear them late at night yet the police do NOTHING. If they refuse to do anything about the little fackers kicking their ball at my windows i doubt they do anything about the bikers Mary80
  • Score: 1

6:54pm Sat 17 May 14

Niel says...

Mary80 wrote:
The little sh!ts also drive around millers pond as i can hear them late at night yet the police do NOTHING. If they refuse to do anything about the little fackers kicking their ball at my windows i doubt they do anything about the bikers
Mary, they are NOT 'Bikers', motorcyclists or even scooterists, they are bored chaviscum or pikeys from both the official site off Botley Road (totally illegal for road use motorcross bikes, and riders wearing no helmets so the Police won't chase them, are regularly see being ridden along the roads and footpaths back to that site). And other places in the area, it's even worse at the moment with the gathering for Wickham Horse Fair next week.

I wish the Police all success in dealing with the problem, there'll be army of social workers and libtards falling over themselves to defend the little b'stards 'uman rights. Though some real bikers, those that have had bikes nicked by them especially, would I'm sure be quite willing to deal with some of them discretely...
[quote][p][bold]Mary80[/bold] wrote: The little sh!ts also drive around millers pond as i can hear them late at night yet the police do NOTHING. If they refuse to do anything about the little fackers kicking their ball at my windows i doubt they do anything about the bikers[/p][/quote]Mary, they are NOT 'Bikers', motorcyclists or even scooterists, they are bored chaviscum or pikeys from both the official site off Botley Road (totally illegal for road use motorcross bikes, and riders wearing no helmets so the Police won't chase them, are regularly see being ridden along the roads and footpaths back to that site). And other places in the area, it's even worse at the moment with the gathering for Wickham Horse Fair next week. I wish the Police all success in dealing with the problem, there'll be army of social workers and libtards falling over themselves to defend the little b'stards 'uman rights. Though some real bikers, those that have had bikes nicked by them especially, would I'm sure be quite willing to deal with some of them discretely... Niel
  • Score: 7

8:24pm Sat 17 May 14

countrywench says...

Ginger_cyclist wrote:
countrywench wrote:
Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ?
They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them ..
Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet !
While I agree loud bikes can be a nuisance when being revved a lot, I disagree that you should make them quieter as the noise makes the bikes more noticable in traffic.
Remember, loud pipes save lives.
So what is it these owners do to make these bikes so loud ! I'm not talking a rumbling big engine bike , a Harley chug etc , I talking about an ear splitting whine like a sewing machine in reverse ! It's enough to make my filling ache !
What are they doing to make them that noisy ? Someone said baffles or something .
If that is the case , the baffles are put there for a reason and should be against the law to remove them ..
[quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]countrywench[/bold] wrote: Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ? They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them .. Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet ![/p][/quote]While I agree loud bikes can be a nuisance when being revved a lot, I disagree that you should make them quieter as the noise makes the bikes more noticable in traffic. Remember, loud pipes save lives.[/p][/quote]So what is it these owners do to make these bikes so loud ! I'm not talking a rumbling big engine bike , a Harley chug etc , I talking about an ear splitting whine like a sewing machine in reverse ! It's enough to make my filling ache ! What are they doing to make them that noisy ? Someone said baffles or something . If that is the case , the baffles are put there for a reason and should be against the law to remove them .. countrywench
  • Score: -1

9:15pm Sat 17 May 14

mike coll says...

Ginger_cyclist wrote:
countrywench wrote:
Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ?
They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them ..
Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet !
While I agree loud bikes can be a nuisance when being revved a lot, I disagree that you should make them quieter as the noise makes the bikes more noticable in traffic.
Remember, loud pipes save lives.
No, Loud pipes wake up night shift workers, sleeping babies, upset pensioners and are a pain in the ar=e, and scare animals.
If a biker needs a loud exhaust to let them know something is approaching behind them then they need to go back to bike peddle school.
[quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]countrywench[/bold] wrote: Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ? They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them .. Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet ![/p][/quote]While I agree loud bikes can be a nuisance when being revved a lot, I disagree that you should make them quieter as the noise makes the bikes more noticable in traffic. Remember, loud pipes save lives.[/p][/quote]No, Loud pipes wake up night shift workers, sleeping babies, upset pensioners and are a pain in the ar=e, and scare animals. If a biker needs a loud exhaust to let them know something is approaching behind them then they need to go back to bike peddle school. mike coll
  • Score: -2

9:29pm Sat 17 May 14

Ginger_cyclist says...

countrywench wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
countrywench wrote:
Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ?
They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them ..
Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet !
While I agree loud bikes can be a nuisance when being revved a lot, I disagree that you should make them quieter as the noise makes the bikes more noticable in traffic.
Remember, loud pipes save lives.
So what is it these owners do to make these bikes so loud ! I'm not talking a rumbling big engine bike , a Harley chug etc , I talking about an ear splitting whine like a sewing machine in reverse ! It's enough to make my filling ache !
What are they doing to make them that noisy ? Someone said baffles or something .
If that is the case , the baffles are put there for a reason and should be against the law to remove them ..
Kids who modify their scooter exhausts usually remove a flow restricting ring from the manifold/exhaust which is illegal, others replace the entire exhaust system with aftermarket parts which is legal as long as they comply with relevent laws.
[quote][p][bold]countrywench[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]countrywench[/bold] wrote: Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ? They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them .. Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet ![/p][/quote]While I agree loud bikes can be a nuisance when being revved a lot, I disagree that you should make them quieter as the noise makes the bikes more noticable in traffic. Remember, loud pipes save lives.[/p][/quote]So what is it these owners do to make these bikes so loud ! I'm not talking a rumbling big engine bike , a Harley chug etc , I talking about an ear splitting whine like a sewing machine in reverse ! It's enough to make my filling ache ! What are they doing to make them that noisy ? Someone said baffles or something . If that is the case , the baffles are put there for a reason and should be against the law to remove them ..[/p][/quote]Kids who modify their scooter exhausts usually remove a flow restricting ring from the manifold/exhaust which is illegal, others replace the entire exhaust system with aftermarket parts which is legal as long as they comply with relevent laws. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: -3

9:36pm Sat 17 May 14

Ginger_cyclist says...

mike coll wrote:
Ginger_cyclist wrote:
countrywench wrote:
Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ?
They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them ..
Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet !
While I agree loud bikes can be a nuisance when being revved a lot, I disagree that you should make them quieter as the noise makes the bikes more noticable in traffic.
Remember, loud pipes save lives.
No, Loud pipes wake up night shift workers, sleeping babies, upset pensioners and are a pain in the ar=e, and scare animals.
If a biker needs a loud exhaust to let them know something is approaching behind them then they need to go back to bike peddle school.
It's to let other road users that the MOTORCYCLIST is approaching, with the number of people using their phones, listnening to stuff through headphones or just plain not paying attention behind the wheel these days, I say good on them for making themselves more noticable.
Loud pipes save lives and as I've already said, at low revs, they're no louder than a bike with a standard exhaust, though it's usually older(but modern) bikes and chinese bikes that are quieter, newer bikes like the Yamaha 125 that a person in Thornhill rides, have loud pipes already fitted at the factory, especially the smaller capacity machines which are naturally quieter and less likely to be heard in traffic, also, to be legal, the pipes must comply with relevent laws
[quote][p][bold]mike coll[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ginger_cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]countrywench[/bold] wrote: Does this crackdown also involve the amount of noise those bikes make ? Do the owners do something to the bikes to make them louder ! ? Surely there is a law for a vehicle of any kind that can wake you up even your windows are closed and your asleep behind double glazing ? They tear round where I live , on the wrong side of the road , cutting corners , along the alley , hanging around outside the local shops , lending the moped to any of their friends to ride up and down the parade , coming in the wrong way on a one way system ..the list is actually endless with them .. Please make them put the bikes back to the way they should be , quiet ![/p][/quote]While I agree loud bikes can be a nuisance when being revved a lot, I disagree that you should make them quieter as the noise makes the bikes more noticable in traffic. Remember, loud pipes save lives.[/p][/quote]No, Loud pipes wake up night shift workers, sleeping babies, upset pensioners and are a pain in the ar=e, and scare animals. If a biker needs a loud exhaust to let them know something is approaching behind them then they need to go back to bike peddle school.[/p][/quote]It's to let other road users that the MOTORCYCLIST is approaching, with the number of people using their phones, listnening to stuff through headphones or just plain not paying attention behind the wheel these days, I say good on them for making themselves more noticable. Loud pipes save lives and as I've already said, at low revs, they're no louder than a bike with a standard exhaust, though it's usually older(but modern) bikes and chinese bikes that are quieter, newer bikes like the Yamaha 125 that a person in Thornhill rides, have loud pipes already fitted at the factory, especially the smaller capacity machines which are naturally quieter and less likely to be heard in traffic, also, to be legal, the pipes must comply with relevent laws Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: -3

7:38am Sun 18 May 14

Mary80 says...

If a bike exhaust is unusually loud that tends to mean there's a problem, trust me my brother's been into bikes for well over 20 years i know what im talking about
If a bike exhaust is unusually loud that tends to mean there's a problem, trust me my brother's been into bikes for well over 20 years i know what im talking about Mary80
  • Score: 0

10:28am Sun 18 May 14

Dai Rear says...

They're hard work to catch and coppers may get injured trying, so don't expect much change. A copper who "gets stuck in " is regarded as "not senior officer material" A "safe pair of hands" is what the hierarchy like. hence the concentration on nicking octogenarians for "inappropriate" etc or the dirty mac and picture brigade or investigating whether someone listened in to Prescott ordering pizzas or Grant making assignations-all "safe"; you're not going to get complained about. You're not going to get hurt, and if you're lucky enough to make it to Superintendent , you'll likely be re-employed by the Force when you retire. So-chasing scum on motos? Not for PC Noddy thank you very much.
They're hard work to catch and coppers may get injured trying, so don't expect much change. A copper who "gets stuck in " is regarded as "not senior officer material" A "safe pair of hands" is what the hierarchy like. hence the concentration on nicking octogenarians for "inappropriate" etc or the dirty mac and picture brigade or investigating whether someone listened in to Prescott ordering pizzas or Grant making assignations-all "safe"; you're not going to get complained about. You're not going to get hurt, and if you're lucky enough to make it to Superintendent , you'll likely be re-employed by the Force when you retire. So-chasing scum on motos? Not for PC Noddy thank you very much. Dai Rear
  • Score: 3

10:32am Sun 18 May 14

downfader says...

Mary80 wrote:
If a bike exhaust is unusually loud that tends to mean there's a problem, trust me my brother's been into bikes for well over 20 years i know what im talking about
TBH I dont think any of the whingers on here know the difference between a faulty or illegal pipe and the sound of a good vintage motorcycle....

I agree that the problem youths need sorting but as usual this forum is being used as a sounding platform for the silly people who just want to tar a whole section....
[quote][p][bold]Mary80[/bold] wrote: If a bike exhaust is unusually loud that tends to mean there's a problem, trust me my brother's been into bikes for well over 20 years i know what im talking about[/p][/quote]TBH I dont think any of the whingers on here know the difference between a faulty or illegal pipe and the sound of a good vintage motorcycle.... I agree that the problem youths need sorting but as usual this forum is being used as a sounding platform for the silly people who just want to tar a whole section.... downfader
  • Score: 0

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