Police Fear the Return of the Halloween Rideout To Chiswick

Officers braced for a spike in anti-social behaviour

Quad bikes sometimes join Halloween rideouts. Picture: YouTube


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There are concerns that Chiswick could become the destination this Sunday night (31 October) for a resurgence of the Halloween rideout in which youths on motorbikes, mopeds and sometimes quadbikes travel in large groups.

The ‘urban peletons’, in which riders show off tricks and ride wheelies as well as going onto the pavement and the wrong side of the road, came to national attention in 2016 when a group brought Oxford Street to a standstill.

In 2018 in Chiswick there were a number of reported incidents associated with such activity including a firearm being discharged. A video of a high speed police chase involving three mopeds and a helicopter that Halloween night was posted on social media. Four days before there had been a similar chase in which police also used a helicopter to apprehend two suspects on mopeds.

The police said that these events were co-ordinated through the ‘UK Bike Life’ community which celebrates riding motorbikes in urban areas and promotes stunt riding and tricks. According to the police many riders use stolen motorcycles. Some members of the UK Bike Life community insist they are law-abiding and are just celebrating their love of motorbikes.

In 2019 a large operation was undertaken in the Chiswick area to prevent a recurrence.

One local officer we spoke to said, “When these rideouts started to become a thing a few years back we could track their organisation on social media as the people behind them made little attempt to hide their plans. Initially the West End was the favoured location but that became easy to counter so they switched to suburban locations like Chiswick. Rideouts weren’t practical last year with few people on the roads and there hasn’t been much intelligence forthcoming that they are making a return this year but that could be a sign that the organisers have become better at hiding what they are intending.”

Police are hoping that bad weather would dampen the enthusiasm of anyone considering participating in a rideout but the latest forecast is that the rain will have stopped in Chiswick by the late afternoon.

There has been an increased in gang related activity in parts of London recently with police in Merton and Wandsworth obtaining a Section 60 order after a spate of robberies and reports of an armed group of males wandering the streets of Putney on 23 October.

It is also believed that any planned rideouts could also be linked to unlicenced music events (UMEs) of which a number are thought to be taking place on Halloween night.

Police closed three UMEs across London this Friday night (29 October) as part of a weekend long proactive operation to disrupt anti-social behaviour in the capital during Halloween. Officers in Lambeth were met with a hail of missiles and had fireworks aimed at them when they attempted to break up an assembly of over 300 youths. A quantity of drugs, knives and offensive weapons were seized and three people were arrested.

Chief Inspector Jack May-Robinson said, “Whilst we appreciate that a lot of people will be celebrating Halloween this weekend with house parties, there are a number of people who will choose to host large music events.

"These gatherings blight the lives of local residents. They often attract anti-social behaviour and can be dangerous environments for those attending them.

“Where we identify an event, we work hard to ensure that appropriate action is taken and equipment is seized to prevent attendees moving to another location.

“Extra patrols are taking place all over London to maintain public safety. I would urge anyone with concerns to contact police so that we can interrupt these UMEs before they escalate.”


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October 31, 2021


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