Chiswick Braced For Halloween Ride Outs
Extra measures promised to avoid repeat of last year's spate of moped enabled crime
The police say they have a detailed planning operation in place to stop large groups of motorcyclists taking part in ‘ride outs’ around Halloween.
Last year there were three reported serious incidents around 31 October in the Chiswick area involving riders of mopeds including a firearm being discharged. Some of these incidents were believed to be part of these co-ordinated rides in which stunts are performed and riders allegedly mount pavements and drive on the wrong side of the road.
Over the past few years, there has been an increase ‘ride out’ events where large numbers have gathered in several locations across London. The police say that these have been co-ordinated through the ‘UK Bike Life’ community which celebrates riding motorbikes in urban areas and promotes stunt riding and tricks on bikes. According to the police the intent of these events have been to cause disruption and anti-social behaviour, including driving recklessly, on the wrong side of the road, through red lights and across pavements; with many riders using stolen motorcycles. Some members of the UK Bike Life community insist they are law-abiding and are just celebrating their love of motorbikes.
The Met are working with surrounding forces, Essex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, Hertford and Thames Valley to tackle the issue and last year such collaborative operation resulted in over 30 arrests.
Last year in Chiswick in the early hours of Wednesday morning (1 November) a high speed pursuit involving three mopeds was caught on film. Three bikes, one with a pillion passenger, were filmed weaving through traffic on Chiswick High Road travelling towards the junction with Goldhawk Road. The footage was published on Twitter by @thomasthetaxi.
A week earlier eight people were arrested in a normally quiet residential street in Chiswick after they fled there following a reported shooting. They were pursued by the police in cars and a helicopter before being cornered near Southfield Park. Four days before that two people were arrested after a high speed chase through Chiswick which once again involved a helicopter.
Superintendent Louise Puddefoot from Met Operations said, “These groups do not have any consideration for other road users, and put themselves and members of the public at risk by driving recklessly in large numbers. They frighten and intimidate Londoners and tourists, and have caused considerable damage to local businesses.
“We know that some people may see the event advertised and think they are joining like-minded enthusiasts on a lawful ride, within legal parameters. This is not the case. These groups are not in keeping with the law, they ignore the rules of the road and drive ruthlessly, carrying out stunts on the roads and pavements.
“Officers will be out across London throughout the Halloween period and will deploy a number of police tactics to prevent riders from driving dangerously. We intend to prevent disorder and crime caused by riders and we will be dealing robustly with offenders and making arrests where appropriate.”
October 27, 2018