Edinburgh crime news: Motorbike yob spotted taking three-year-old for ride through park

A local resident in the Sighthill area has spoken about off road motorbikes after seeing a three year old riding on the front of a bike with no helmet.

By Rachel Mackie
Monday, 4th April 2022, 3:24 pm

Gareth Mackie, 46, lives next to Sighthill Park and has said that the issue of off road vehicles driving dangerous has “become progressively worse over the past couple of years, and had definitely escalated in recent weeks.”

“Not only do they zoom around the park without regard for anyone else using the facilities, but they tear up and down Broomhouse Road, pulling wheelies and weaving in and out of traffic.

"The most terrifying thing I saw was last year, when one of the riders had a young child who couldn't have been more than three or four sat in front of him as he rode around the park.

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"Neither had helmets on.

“I also use the Union Canal for running and cycling, and have occasionally seen people riding motorbikes on the footpath.”

Local councillor Ashley Graczyk has contacted Police Scotland to ask for extra officers to help deal with the problem.

Gareth continued: “The noise is the worst thing.

Edinburgh crime news: Local speaks about 'intrusive' motorbike groups in the Sighthill area of the Capital

"I work from home and the noise of the bikes is so intrusive.

"I haven't had any direct run-ins with the bikers, although one of the idiots rode down my street pulling a wheelie.

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"There are lots of young children in this development and I just don't want to think about the consequences of someone being hit by a motorbike.”

Cllr Ashley Graczyk commented: "I’m working with the Council and other organisations to explore possible land and other options to enable legal off-road motorbiking in Edinburgh or on the outskirts of Edinburgh as a long-term solution.

"As I do recognise that not all young people with off-road motorbikes do illegal off-road motorbiking or intimidating behaviours.

“There are organisations such as Ride Off Road Scotland offer training, coaching, tours, experiences for all ages & abilities.

"They do rough ground, brownfield gap sites, basically somewhere out of the people's way and potential harm to themselves and others.

“It would be beneficial especially as positive role models/mentors for young people rather than being influenced by riders breaking the law."

Chief Inspector Mark Hamilton added : “We are aware of issues in the Sighthill area involving the anti-social use of off road bikes.

"Operation Pillar was introduced to deal directly with this issue. This has been running successfully over a number of weeks in response to concerns raised by the local community.

“We want to ensure our streets are safer, and that the people of Sighthill can live free from the anti-social use of motorbikes.

"We have dedicated patrols to tackle this issue including the use our own of road motorcycles to carry out patrols as part of Operation Orbit.

"These patrols will continue as anti-social behaviour continues to a priority for the South West Policing Team.

"There are appropriate police resources in place to respond in the area but the nature of policing means these officers at times need to support ongoing serious incidents within the city.

"We have the ability to draw on additional resources should they be required.

“If anyone has any information regarding the use of off road motorcycles we would encourage them to contact the Police Scotland.

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