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‘There are big problems’: Police working tirelessly to identify illegal bikers in Levenmouth

Levenmouth illegal bikers behaviour
Illegal bikes being seized as part of Levenmouth's anti-social behaviour crackdown.

Police say they are working “tirelessly” to identify illegal bikers who are risking lives in Levenmouth.

Motorbikes and quads have been seen tearing along the beach at Leven and East Wemyss while families are walking.

A children’s play park was ripped up and bikes churned up a footpath in West Wemyss, leaving houses splattered with mud.

Mountfleurie Park was churned up.

SNP councillor John O’Brien fears someone will be seriously hurt unless the bikers are caught.

Police said four community officers were involved in finding those responsible.

Mr O’Brien raised the issue as it was revealed a crackdown on anti-social behaviour, including the use of motorbikes, in Levenmouth will continue for another year.

The targeted approach led to a 60% drop in calls to police about nuisance behaviour in its first year.

More than 500 people have been charged and 98 vehicles seized.

‘Results speak for themselves’

Mr O’Brien praised the police and said he was fully behind the approach.

“The results speak for themselves,” he said.

He said there had been an increase in quad bikes in the area since Christmas.

“There are big problems in West Wemyss and East Wemyss with them tearing along the beach,” he said.

“Mountfleurie Park in Leven was really badly ripped up and houses near the coastal path were covered in muck.”

The Methil and Buckhaven councillor said: “There were five or six of them riding along the beach at East Wemyss while there were folk walking with children and dogs.

“That’s a real risk to people and I don’t want to see a tragedy.”

Levenmouth inspector Paul Gillespie said he was aware of the issues.

“I can confirm four community officers are working tirelessly towards identifying those responsible,” he said.

“There have also been meetings to discuss prevention, with ideas around erecting gates to stop them accessing the coastal path.

“That’s work in hand.”

Levenmouth was the first area in Fife to adopt a co-ordinated approach to cracking down on anti-social behaviour.

Two dedicated police officers have been based there since January 2019 to tackle illegal biking, deliberate fire setting and other nuisance behaviour.

The project also involves the fire service, Fife Council, third sector groups and Kingdom Off-Road Motorcycle Club.

The work has attracted attention from other parts of Scotland.

Preventative approach

The next stage is to provide more activities for young people in a bid to prevent anti-social behaviour.

Plans to take the project forward were cancelled last year as coronavirus hit.

Mr Gillespie said further work was required “in light of the pandemic”.

“We anticipate lockdown will come to an end this year and will bring with it an increase in people on the streets of Levenmouth and the potential for anti-social behaviour,” he said.

“We do know about around 600 young people are not engaging with the education system since the schools have been closed.”

Labour councillor Colin Davidson said prevention was key.

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

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

“We’ll work with them and find out why they’re doing it and hopefully that will improve things for everybody.”

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