A councillor has called for new powers so police officers in South Tyneside can ram rogue motorbike riders.
Last month, the Metropolitan Police revealed that specially-trained ‘Skorpion’ officers were using their cars to knock offenders off motorcycles as they tried to escape from snatch robberies.
Coun Jeff Milburn, who represents the Cleadon and East Boldon ward, has called on Northumbria Police to adopt the same tactics to deal with peoblem motorcycle riders.
He told the West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum he planned to write to Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird over the issue.
He said: “At every meeting we talk about these motorcyclists who ride around our area without number plates, pulling wheelies, kicking cars and they cause all sorts of trouble.
“We now see that officers with the Metropolitan Police come round and take them out.
“I don’t want people to get hurt but, equally, who gets hurt? The police need to be empowered to stop these people. I believe it has to be asked if Northumbria Police can do this.”
He added: “I think they should have the right to. Just knock them off their bikes.”
Coun Milburn, the sole opposition member on South Tyneside Council, made the comments during a discussion on crime.
Coun Bill Brady noted the impact of the bikers, claiming riders had been seen reaching speeds of 60mph in Temple Park, South Shields.
PC Rob Lloyd admitted rogue bikers were an issue in the borough.
He said: “One did a wheelie past my car when I had a victim in the back of the car. They just have no respect for anybody.”
Police chiefs have confirmed that there are no plans to introduce the Met Police tactic in the North East.
Neighbourhood Inspector Phil Baker, speaking after the meeting, added: “We understand the concerns of the councillor and want to reassure him that we have been very proactive in tackling reports of motorcycle disorder in the area.
“A great and innovative example of this is the use of DNA spray to ‘tag’ offenders and link them to unsolved crimes. This has seen a significant fall in the number of reports of motorcycle disorder.
“It is important that the public understand the nature of this disorder as it is very different from the type of criminality experienced in London.
“The majority of reports in South Shields are linked to anti-social behaviour rather than some of the violent crimes being dealt with by The Met.
“Currently there are no plans to introduce a similar policy to what is used by officers in the capital but we want to reassure the public that we take this problem seriously and our tactics are getting results.”
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service