POLICE have swooped on suspected motorbike hellraisers – making 16 arrests in a series of dawn raids.
All those arrested are thought to have played some part in the mayhem last month following the death of biker David McGarvey.
Up to 50 riders took off on a tribute “ride-out” to the dad-of-two. But a group also went on to tear up Niddrie football pitches and cause havoc across the city.
Chief Inspector Gill Geany said: “This has been a significant operation and rightly so, given the considerable disruption caused to communities right across the Capital back in January.
“After a thorough investigation we obtained eight warrants and on Thursday teams of officers went through doors early in the morning.”
Fifteen men, aged 18-47, and a 15-year-old boy have been arrested in the three-week operation – with a report sent to the Procurator Fiscal.
The 16 have been hit with 69 charges, mostly for road traffic offences, with 12 antisocial behaviour orders also issued.
A 32-year-old has been charged with dangerous driving after a middle-aged couple were knocked off their feet and suffered minor injuries in Drylaw.
“People living in various communities will have noticed our activity and I want to thank them for their support both in speaking to us and providing information whilst we have been carrying out our investigation,” said CI Geany.
“The behaviour seen on January 13 was appalling and inconsiderate and affected thousands of people.
“People were injured and such disorder simply will not be tolerated. I’m pleased to say that what happened is not at all reflective of the motorcycle community in Edinburgh and the Lothians and we continue to work closely with them to ensure they can enjoy their pastime safely.”
Police were inundated with more than 100 calls on January 13 as riders left a trail of chaos in their wake. Terrified residents reported yobs speeding through streets, pulling wheelies, wheelspin “doughnuts” and jumping red lights.
It culminated in more than £8,000 worth of damage as yobs on bikes tore up football pitches at the Jack Kane Centre in Niddrie.
The chaos came as a tribute was being staged to 28-year-old David McGarvey who was killed when his motorbike crashed into a parked car in Duddingston on Boxing Day.
The ride-out went from Drylaw, across to Portobello and Leith, and on into the city centre and Craigmillar.
Youth football team Edina Hibs has been forced to relocate from the centre after three near misses involving young players and motorbikes.
Committee member Brian Gunn welcomed the arrests and said: “It’s sends a signal to the people using bikes and vehicles on the Jack Kane Centre that the community and police are working together to solve the problem.
“The community are fed up with it and the police are acting before someone is killed or seriously injured.”
CI Geany said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information can contact officers on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.