Community anger as police hunt biker after Ferry Road crash

Hosh Hardwick - senior admininstrator at the community shop in Pennywell Road
Hosh Hardwick - senior admininstrator at the community shop in Pennywell Road

MOB rule could take over in Drylaw to get justice if motorbike joyriders are not stamped out, community activists have warned.

Senior administrator at Pennywell Road community shop Josh Hardwick spoke out after a ten-year-old was run over and seriously injured by bikers at the weekend.

Speaking to the Evening News, Mr Hardwick slammed soft sentences for joyriders and said young children were too scared to go out for fear of being hit.

“The general consensus here is that people are shocked at what’s happened but also very angry because it’s been going on for so many years,” said Mr Hardwick, 17.

“There was an inevitability about it and a real mixture of emotions in the community. If something isn’t done then people are talking about doing something themselves.

“No one wants vigilantes but that’s the way it is and where we are. There’s potential for people to take matters into their own hands.”

The 10-year-old is “stable” in hospital after being hit by a stolen bike on a crossing outside Drylaw police station, Ferry Road, on Saturday.

Mr Hardwick said North Edinburgh has plenty of youth clubs and activities for teenagers, but not at night when anti-social behaviour peaks.

“What people want is more from the government and the justice system,” he added. “When police catch people through hard work, they come straight back from the courts. That’s what the problem is – a lack of punishment.

“We get messages daily from parents whose kids are crying because they know someone got hit and there’s a bike revving outside their house.

“They’re saying their kids are too scared to go out because they’re scared of getting hit by a bike.”

Father-of-three Mark Pearson, from Drylaw, is planning a protest outside the Scottish Parliament in coming weeks with more than 100 people expected to attend.

He said families have had enough with motorcycle joyriders taunting police and boasting about their exploits on private social media accounts.

“They know officers won’t chase them in case they fall off so they race each other outside the police station,” said Mr Pearson, 32.

“My kids are too scared to go to the park. People could go out on the streets and hunt them down because they’re sick of it.”

Chief Inspector James Jones confirmed the hunt goes on for the rider of the bike that struck the ten-year-old and appealed for the public’s help.

Support is also being offered to “traumatised” eye-witnesses who watched the “shocking” events unfold, including two police officers.

He praised the work of dedicated crackdowns in recent years to “reduce the risk and occurrence” of motorcycle joyriding.

“Officers remain actively focused and it remains a priority to keep people safe in that area and to bring any offenders to justice,” added CI Jones. “Frustration does exist but our determination is even greater.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101.