Northumberland Police act to stomp out anti-social biking with countywide Operation Capio

Rear shot of police van
Rear shot of police van

Police in Northumberland are continuing to come down hard against anti-social behaviour, seizing a number of bikes and quads across a week of targeted enforcement from March 4-10.

The work was carried out by a county-wide taskforce set up between Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Police. Known as Operation Capio, it’s the latest in a line of measures taken in the area tackling nuisance riders who are often thrashing stolen machines.

Launched last December by the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, the operation follows a £196,000 grant from the Home Office’s Safer Streets programme.

Police drone used to track offenders

“We know this is a big area of concern for people in the community – nobody wants this type of anti-social behaviour on their doorstep,” said Chief Inspector Colin Lowther. “That’s why, together with our partners, we’ll continue to do everything we can to identify nuisance riders, seize their vehicles and put a stop to any related criminality.”

During the week of action, the taskforce worked in areas including Ashington and Blyth, which have been highlighted as hotspots for incidents.

Using drone surveillance, they reported three people for having no insurance. Five motorcycles were seized alongside two quads and a car. It is suspected some of them had been stolen.

Bikes seized as part of Operation Capio on police recovery truck

“We know it’s a concern for many local people and we are pulling out all the stops to take tough action,” McGuinness said. “This is why I have invested in a force-wide unit specifically to tackle motorbike disorder, as well as providing new technologies such as drones to assist police with their operations.

“I’m also funding a campaign with Crimestoppers so people can come forward with any information and report it anonymously. All this work, along with Operation Capio and targeted days of action, is paying off as these positive results show.

“Motorbike disorder [of this kind] is not only a nuisance but dangerous, so we must keep doing all we can to stop it.”