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Teenagers could face charges for riding bicycles dangerously

PUBLISHED: 10:18 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:55 10 May 2019

Young people on bikes on Mill Road, heading towards Belton, on April 8.

Young people on bikes on Mill Road, heading towards Belton, on April 8.

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Parents have been warned that if they fail to engage with police over anti-social cycling their children could face charges in court.

Police at the top of Regent Road. They are tackling the menace of teens on bikes amid a public outcry over the issue Picture: Liz CoatesPolice at the top of Regent Road. They are tackling the menace of teens on bikes amid a public outcry over the issue Picture: Liz Coates

Over the last few weeks officers in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston have launched targeted patrols across the borough aimed at clamping down on the behaviour.

The move was triggered by a spate of complaints, especially around Easter, of young people riding dangerously in traffic.

Operation Outlast sees officers deployed to flashpoints issuing dispersal notices and seizing the bikes.

Cyclists who have had their bikes taken away by police will receive "educational inputs" before they can have them back.

Chief Inspector Nathan Clarke said the police are "not in the business of criminalising children" but also mentioned one teenager who will appear in 
court facing a charge of careless and inconsiderate cycling after being caught twice riding recklessly.

"We think it's more important to focus on the road safety aspect, to educate the youngsters," the chief inspector said.

"That has been as much as sitting down with the parents and talking of the dangers we're seeing young people put themselves into."

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Police have showed parents dashcam footage including one video of a young cyclist near Belton, riding with his front wheel up towards an oncoming van but veering away at the last second.

The chief inspector said: "You can imagine how parents feel about it.

"No-one wants to be picking their son or daughter off the floor and putting them into the back of an ambulance."

During the operation's 'action days', officers have swooped in on groups of teens, around Market Gates in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston's High Street, issuing dispersal orders and seizing bikes.

Some people on social media have complained that the police should not return the bikes.

But Chief Inspector Clarke said it is not in the police's powers to keep the bikes.

"We haven't got the lawful power to retain the bikes any longer than necessary.

"We've got no lawful power to keep it," he said.

Police have pledged to continue the crackdown on dangerous and anti-social cycling well into the summer.

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