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Force launches scheme tackling youngsters' antisocial cycling

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PCC Barry Coppinger, Mike O'Reilly from Envronment City, A/Sgt Mike Doherty and PCSO Mark Ballinger

Neighbourhood officers have devised a unique way to tackle the growing issue of young people riding their bikes in an antisocial manner.

A new scheme, the first of its kind among UK police forces, will see under 18s offered the chance to learn about responsible cycling – and get a formal qualification.

Officers have received complaints from residents about children cycling at speed through shopping precincts and in built up areas -including in front of houses with direct access to the street - with concerns that someone could be seriously hurt.

Neighbourhoods Acting Sergeant Mike Doherty who devised the scheme said: “Young people who are caught riding antisocially or dangerously will be reported to the Youth Offending Team and will have to pay a £30 fine that day.  This money goes to local charity Middlesbrough Environment City to benefit the neighbourhood, and the cyclist can then attend a three hour cycling proficiency course and get a certificate.

“We want to focus on education rather than punishment and this way youngsters can come out of the process having learned something - and with a nationally recognised qualification.”

PCC Barry Coppinger added: “At many of the community meetings I attend, the issue of antisocial use of cycles comes up.  Young riders may not realise how intimidating it can be when they ride at speed in residential areas or when they cycle around in an antisocial way.  With its focus on education, this scheme which will benefit everyone and I’m happy to support it.”

 

Posted on Tuesday 12th February 2019
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