A joint police and
community operation to combat motorcycle crime is being
considered for a prestigious national award.
project involving the police, Coventry City Council's Action
Against Crime Team and Area Co-ordination North-East, has
virtually wiped out the misuse of mini-motorcycles labelled
locally as 'Pee-Wees'.
Now it is in line for
the prestigious CGU Award for achievements in crime reduction.
Bill Malley, Area Co-ordinator
for Coventry North East said:
"We have worked
closely with the other agencies in various ways to combat
successful in obtaining a substantial grant of £60,000 from
the Home Office to pilot ways of reducing burglaries.
"A street in Wood
End was chosen and after consultation with the residents a
range of ideas was identified including the provision of
fencing, gates, security lights and burglar alarms. This work
is now nearing completion."
is also being spent over the next three years on our youth
opportunities programme. This will provide positive investment
in about 50 young people in the area involving them in
constructive activities to further their life chances thereby
reducing the risk of them becoming involved in offending.
"In addition £15,000
has been injected into our Summer Splash Scheme for fun
activities for children in Coventry north east."
The 'Pee-Wee' problem
escalated in the Wood End and Bell Green areas, which
historically had suffered from youths recklessly riding off-road
motorcycles, many of them stolen, through housing estates with
no regard for local residents.
Over the last two years
small motorcycles, originally intended as children's toys and
therefore outside normal traffic laws, were increasingly being
The law governing the
use of such small and manoeuvrable bikes is unclear, with riders
having no need of a driving licence or insurance. They can also
be ridden on the pavement without fear of prosecution.
In addition to being
used to commit crime, younger riders saw older youths as role
models and began to copy their reckless actions.
This culminated in a
serious car accident that left a nine-year-old 'Pee-Wee' rider
But the problem has been
resolved by education and police enforcement and it is hoped
this will be reinforced by new Government legislation. A poster
campaign illustrating the dangers of off-road riding,
particularly on 'Pee-Wees', was launched in March and the city
council's Action Against Crime team purchased three 400cc
off-road motor cycles for police use.
Councillor Tom White,
lead member (Community Wellbeing) said:
"The bikes have
proved a worthwhile investment. People feel much safer now and
the off-road patrol has been an outstanding success with six
arrests and ten stolen motorcycles worth £9,000 being
recovered in the last two months."
Nerissa Jones, Vicar of
St Chad's Church, Wood End has applauded the project. She said:
"This time last
year it was absolutely hell. They were riding five abreast
down the street, whizzing down entries and riding without
lights after dark. I also saw adults ferrying small children
and I told them I did not want to conduct funerals for