POLICE have confirmed that reducing motorbike nuisance and theft is a priority after Southampton residents hit out at youths “running riot and getting away with it”.

Hampshire Constabulary has told they Daily Echo they are "doing everything they can" to reduce the issue for residents by working with council and land owners is an integral part of the scheme.

It was reported that those living in the north of the city have told how they feel fed up with motorbikes tearing along pathways.

Fearful for their safety, they have described how youths are often seen speeding through Lordswood and the surrounding areas.

One woman who wanted to remain unnamed for the fear of being targeted for speaking out, told the Daily Echo: “When we bought our first home here ten-years-ago it was with the dream of lovely walks with future children in a safe open space.

“What we have now is revving engines, the repugnant smell of petrol or worse, burning vehicles.

“Our children scream and cower in their own garden because so many times in their short lives they’ve witnessed bikes tearing towards them and I’ve had to pull them out of harms way in the woods behind us.

"My eldest has to wear ear defenders in our back garden to not have a panic attack the moment she hears the roar of yet another - probably stolen - bike/quad."

Officers have said that the are tactically planning high visibility patrols in hotspot locations using specialist Roads Policing Units to patrol specific areas; working with Housing to identify where particular bikes that are regularly being used in an anti-social manner are being stored, and who owns them; and seeking out opportunities to work with the council and other land owners to make public footpaths and wooded areas harder to access for motorcycle riders

They are also promoting extra security to bike owners to prevent theft, such as using ground and wall anchor points, locks that are at least 16mm in diameter, disc locks for the rear wheel, alarms and immobilisers and consider fitting a GPS tracker.

A spokesperson from the force said: "We know that motorcycles are being used in an anti-social manner on roads and in other public spaces like footpaths and wooded areas, and that this has been going on for long time.

"From a police perspective, we are doing everything we can to reduce the issue for residents. Working closely with the council and land owners is an integral part of that as we cannot reduce the issue alone.

"However, over the last six months, have been carrying out regular patrols and ‘flash mobs,’ which are targeted operations, to prevent offences taking place, and to gather intelligence to identify regular offenders.

"Our flash mobs have been very successful; this is where we have deployed a condensed police presence for 2-3 hours in a specific area identified as an ASB or crime hotspot by examining police reports and listening to the community to identify offenders, recover stolen vehicles and reduce incidents. We let the community know about these operations by posting the details on our social media channels. We want to tell them what we’re doing with their information.

"Reports from the public are absolutely key in us being able to use our resources to target specific hotspots where incidents regularly happen and keep these operations going.

"Part of this work involves reducing motorcycle theft. We know many motorcycles used in anti-social manner are stolen and we’ve been working really hard to recover people’s bikes. We have recovered a number of stolen mopeds and motorcycles in the last two months, with a peak being 11 in a period of three weeks in November 2021.

"Over time, we think residents have stopped reporting because they are not seeing an immediate police response, but this leaves a gap in our intelligence picture. In fact, the majority of prosecutions have come from intelligence and photographs provided by the community which is why we are always asking for the public to report incidents to us.

"We continue to encourage people to report incidents to us as this helps us build a picture of what is taking place and where, which helps us know where to focus our resources.

"Residents can help us identify those responsible by giving us names, descriptions of people, description of bikes and where the bikes are being stored. We take all allegations of crime and anti-social behaviour seriously and continue to encourage anyone that has been affected to report it. This can be done over the phone on 101, or online at www.hampshire.police.uk/"