Yesterday following complaints made by local residents from across Wednesfield North – Residents were informing me that they were getting fed up with scooters that are tearing around Wednesfield ,often after their kids have been put to bed, and the scooters with little or no mufflers in place, were disturbing. They informed me that the sound was horrendous, and I was being asked “why the police are not taking action?”. I wrote to the Police last night requesting their advice in relation to this nuisance. Plus having heard the noise myself along side residents asked the following questions.
- Is this action against the Law or not?
- If it is an offence, what actions are going to be taken?
That information I placed on my web page led to almost three thousand people clicking to read, on my web page and on my other Social media outlets including Face Book. With those sort of numbers it showed how interested the community was in the issue that was being discussed. Many individuals made comments both publicly through my pages, and many more messaged me privately. I promised to report back on the response from Wednesfield Police through these pages.
Today Wednesfield Police responded to the questions I posed and informed me of their continued Polica Actions. Here is what Sgt Danher has had to say.
The Law – Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 provides powers enabling police officers to take positive action in dealing with vehicles being used to cause alarm, distress or annoyance. For example, vehicles performing screeching ‘handbrake turns’ in a housing estate or supermarket car park, or driving around with car windows open and loud music playing. Or in this case, taking the mufflers off the bike exhausts and causing excessive noise.
A constable has the power to seize offending vehicles but only after warning the person. If, after the warning has been given, the driving continues or is repeated, then the vehicle can be seized.
A police officer must witness the offence and cannot act upon information from a third party, even another police officer.
If the vehicle has no insurance then we can seize the vehicle, If an officer witnesses the bikes driving on pavements or any careless driving, then they driver can be reported for driving without due care and attention or utilise their Section 59 powers, whichever the officer deems more appropriate.
What the Police have we done so far. As you see from the Law the actions must be witnessed by the individual officer. It is therefore imperative that the community are reporting any of these types of incidents and passing on any important information such as registration numbers etc, as this vital information will enable us to be at the right location at the right time as well as enable us to develop our intelligence. We have visited all of our callers to Police and have created a patrol plan around key locations, identifying key times and dates of when these incidents are occurring. Yesterday we stopped a number of youths who we believe are responsible, unfortunately there were not any offences on this occasion. They were all advised around the impact of ASB on bikes on the local community, the risk to pedestrians safety as well as their own. They were also advised that we have the ability to seize the vehicles and have them crushed.
So the information I requested has been laid out and I feel will be a very useful way for residents to know and understand what constitutes a nuisance and an offence. I will continue to liaise with the Police and inform them of the information that you pass on through me. Wednesfield North is a great place to live, and I hope we can maintain that.