'It has got to stop' - Inspector's warning to joyriding moped thieves
PUBLISHED: 08:17 01 June 2018
Lives are being put at risk following a spike in moped thefts and joyriding, Great Yarmouth police have warned.
Groups of youths have been stealing mopeds across the borough, before driving them at high speeds without helmets and over pavements.
The problem has become more prevalent and the police have issued a plea to the thieves and the public, with new figures revealing that 49 mopeds have been stolen already this year - only 10 less than in the whole of 2017.
Nathan Clark, chief inspector, said: “It was rising last year and, despite arrests and speaking to the youths involved, the figures are still increasing. This week alone we have had four mopeds stolen.
“The youths that are stealing these bikes, who are generally under the age of 18, have got no licence or experience riding mopeds and they’re riding without helmets.
“I’m expecting to come into work one day and be told that a youth has been seriously hurt on a moped, or hurt someone else.
“I’m shocked it hasn’t happened, but I don’t want it to happen. It has got to stop.”
The problem is district-wide, and the police are warning moped owners that they need to be aware of the risk of theft, and help tackle the problem by using the likes of locks, covers and secure parking.
The public are also being urged to play their part in tackling the problem by reporting any instances of dangerous moped driving.
Chief Insp Clark said: “It’s almost as if reporting is going down and I fear people are becoming desensitised to it. If people see these kids joyriding we need the call. It’s about public safety and the potential for serious harm, so it’s a 999 call.
“We are seeing it across the district. We’re finding mopeds stolen in Hopton or Gorleston and being ditched in Yarmouth, and vice versa.
“We have been into schools to explain the risks, but there is a core group that is hard to get through to and I fear they could be spreading the idea.
“It’s only a matter of time until somebody is seriously hurt or worse.”
As previously reported there is a problem of youths riding bicycles antisocially in Gorleston.
Anyone with information on stolen mopeds or sees one being ridden dangerously should call police on 101 or 999.