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Crackdown: How innovative approach to anti-social bikers is working in Levenmouth

Two of the bikes seized by Levenmouth police.
Two of the bikes seized by Levenmouth police.

A crackdown on nuisance bikers in Levenmouth has led to a 76% cut in calls to police.

Officers seized 38 vehicles in the six months to October and charged 306 people with anti-social behaviour and road traffic offences.

They issued a further 20 anti-social behaviour warnings regarding motorbike use during the same period.

Two dedicated police officers have been based in Levenmouth since January 2019, as part of the approach to tackling the scourge of illegal biking and other anti-social behaviour.

It followed fears pedestrians could be killed as unlicensed riders used pavements, golf courses and even Leven beach.

The undercover officers work closely with Fife Council, elected members, community groups and Kingdom Off-Road Motorcycle Club.

The fire service is also involved following a huge increase in the number of deliberate fires.

Rubbish and wheelie bins were the most common targets but Silverburn House and Brannigan’s Hotel were both destroyed by blazes believed to have been started deliberately.

The results of the project are exceptional. ”

Sergeant Craig Fyall, Levenmouth Police.

The initiative is promoted on social media under the brand Improving Levenmouth Together.

Councillors have hailed the results after calls about bikers fell from 891 between April and October 2018, to 217 during the same six months this year.

Deliberate fire-setting has also reduced from 157 to 89.

The innovative work has attracted attention from other regions across Scotland.

If we can find an alternative to running about on motorbikes then it’s a win win.”

Labour councillor Colin Davidson.

Labour councillor Colin Davidson said the next stage is to provide more activities for young people in a bid to prevent anti-social behaviour.

“The enforcement side of it has been successful but we need to look for a long term solution,” he said.

“We will now look at prevention and will involve the young people and their families in that.

“If we can find an alternative to running about on motorbikes then it’s a win win.”

Refurbishing Leven’s putting green and lighting the skate park to allow evening use are among the projects being looked at.

“We’ve got to get these kids engaged,” said Mr Davidson.

“We won’t just keep catching them and punishing them.

“We’ll work with them and find out why they’re doing it.

“Not everybody will get involved but there are some who will take the opportunity to get out of the cycle of crime.”

“They took it by the teeth and tackled it head on.”

SNP councillor John O’Brien.

SNP councillor John O’Brien said communities were seeing the results of the initiative.

“Before, I got several calls a week from people complaining about bikers flying about,” he said.

“Since police have clamped down, I don’t get that anymore.

“The two police officers are fantastic.

“They took it by the teeth and tackled it head on and it’s made a big difference.

“We’ve not eradicated the problem completely but we have caught the worst of it.”

Sergeant Craig Fyall from Levenmouth Police Station said: “We know that tackling anti-social behaviour is a key priority for our local communities and building on the success of last year was vital.

“Considering the unprecedented challenges faced in 2020, the results of the project are exceptional.

“Without the partnership work and dedication of key agencies it is unlikely the level of success would have been achieved”.

“I would also like to thank the local community for their support and urge them to help us build on the success of the project moving forward into 2021, by continuing to report relevant information to Levenmouth’s Community Policing Team via 101.”

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