Submissions from the public via the OPCC-commissioned online app are helping to track and identify nuisance riders and their bikes.
The addition of images and videos to written reports means that police get a clearer picture of the problem. As a result, they are more likely to identify offenders and be able to take action.
The app has already resulted in police action. Information received via COPA has led to a number of arrests across Cleveland.
Recent examples show how COPA is helping to identify those who are not only riding bikes antisocially but are also committing more serious crimes – such as burglary.
Police cross reference images submitted via COPA with footage posted on social media, in which people are seen riding bikes dangerously or recklessly.
This allows officers to identify not only the offenders but also potentially stolen vehicles.
Sergeant Chris Turner, of Cleveland Police’s Rural Crime Team, has been collating information received via COPA.
He’s been using it with intelligence from other sources to map hotspots and track suspects across Cleveland.
Chris said: “COPA provides intelligence with pictures or video. The more we find out about nuisance riders and bikes, the more easily we can identify and stop them.
“The review process has only been in existence for two months but the intelligence received from the public via COPA has been invaluable.”
Following a review of Government guidance last year, Cleveland Police has started to use Community Protection Warnings against nuisance bikers.
Warnings issued by Cleveland Police last six months and have conditions attached to them to prevent further offending.
COPA has proved popular with the public. The number of people downloading the app has more than doubled in the past four months.
More than 5,000 people have now downloaded COPA to their smartphones since its launch last September.
The current 5,192 total to the end of April is a 3,132 increase on the first quarter’s figure of 2,060.
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner said: “I am delighted that information submitted via COPA is now starting to show real results.
“The enthusiasm, with which the public in Cleveland has embraced COPA, shows me there is a real appetite for a quick and easy way to contact police about lower level crime and antisocial incidents.
“An increasing number of downloads and the way, in which police have used the information submitted, can only mean one thing – a safer Cleveland for everyone.”
A total of 1,587 people have clicked through from the app to the Cleveland Police Report a Crime website page.
COPA also enabled 481 people to get through to the right council services to report things like dog fouling, fly tipping and noise nuisance.
Most reports through the app (846 or 65.73 per cent) related to antisocial behaviour (including vehicle antisocial behaviour).
Reports about drugs represented the second highest category at 292 – or 22.68 per cent – of total reports.