Watch as motorbike yobs pull stunts and flout laws in Edinburgh streets
SHOCKING video has emerged of maniac motorcyclists causing mayhem on the Capital’s streets.
Footage captured on a delivery driver’s dash cam shows reckless riders performing stunts in the street and brazenly breaking traffic laws.
It comes just days after a senior cop warned lives are being put at risk and appealed for the public’s help in tackling the menace.
“I’ve heard from my constituents of a number of near misses involving motorbikes and children, not just on roads but in public parks also,” said Tory councillor for Portobello/Craigmillar Callum Laidlaw.
Footage captured in the last few months includes a rider jumping a red light in torrential rain on Leith Walk just as a pedestrian crosses the road.
Another clip shows a rider pull a wheelie in residential street in Burdiehouse before swerving onto a grass verge and pavement to avoid oncoming traffic.
In a third video, a biker nonchalantly skips a row of traffic on the wrong side of the road before making a right-hand turn.
“Antisocial motorbike behaviour is something that’s been going on in parts of the city for decades,” said Cllr Laidlaw.
“One of the problems is that it’s almost been accepted and I’m pleased to see the police really taking this seriously now and bringing in a focused programme to address it.”
Cllr Laidlaw said dangerous riding on motorbikes has been a “particularly significant problem” in Hunter’s Hall park, among other places.
“I’d encourage residents to work with police officers in helping identify the culprits because that’s the only way,” added Cllr Laidlaw.
The Evening News reported how youths on four bikes and quads raced between Niddrie’s Jack Kane Centre and the Fort Kinnaird shopping centre in last Monday’s rush-hour.
Police have launched Operation Soteria over successive summers to crackdown on the theft and antisocial use of motorcycles.
Inspector Colin Fordyce from Craigmillar Police Station said: “I am increasingly concerned about calls to the police regarding young people putting themselves and others at risk by riding motorcycles and quad bikes dangerously in our area.
“My primary concern is the risk to life itself, which is why Operation Soteria is a priority for me.”
Insp Fordyce confirmed specialist resources, including police off-road riders will be deployed, but also appealed for tip-offs from the public.
“I would appeal to parents, guardians and the public to help by reporting incidents to police so that we can ensure that our resources focus in the right areas, and knowing where their children are,” he said.
“As the schools finish for summer and many young people enjoy their breaks, it is vital that those involved in this sort of criminality are identified and traced.
“If you’re aware of any of the young people involved in this activity and you’re able to speak to them directly, then please make sure that they are fully aware or the risk they are posing both to the community and to themselves.
“We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that perpetrators of such crimes are dealt with as robustly as possible.
“I would ask anyone with information regarding this kind of behaviour to share that information and help us keep the residents of Edinburgh and our visitors safe.”
Last Monday, specialist off-road police riders were scrambled to lie in wait but no arrests were made.
“It’s not the damage to the pitches that’s the problem, it’s the proximity to the kids,” said Brian Gunn, committee member of Edina Hibs, whose teams use the centre.
“They’re doing wheelies and standing on the seats, they’re not in control of the bikes.
“Only a month ago we had to cancel training because they were too close for safety.
“The adults were in a training game and they rode right through.
“It’s happened so many times, if something isn’t done they somebody will get hurt, probably seriously.”
Mr Gunn said he was hopeful that new enclosed artificial turf pitches being built at the centre will help protect players.
Last year, more than £8,000 of damage was caused to football pitches at the centre after a day of motorbike mayhem led to multiple arrests.
Police swooped on suspected motorbike hellraisers last February - making 16 arrests in a series of dawn raids.
All those arrested were thought to have played some part in mayhem the previous month following the death of biker David McGarvey.
Up to 50 riders took off on a tribute “ride-out” to the father of two.
But a group also went on to tear up Niddrie football pitches and cause havoc across the city.
The city has also endured successive summers of joyriders stealing motorbikes before terrorising neighbourhoods.
Last July, the Evening News reported how balaclava-wearing yobs jumped red lights and cased driveways in Newington before a tourist’s stolen bike was torched nearby.
In August 2017, ten-year-old Cameron Wilson was left with serious injuries after bike thieves knocked him down in a hit-and-run on a crossing outside Drylaw police station on Ferry Road.
And in June 2016, 14-year-old Brad Williamson was killed when the stolen motorbike he was riding hit a car on Silverknowes Road.
Last month, tourists’ bikes were again targeted by thieves from outside guesthouses across the city.
One victim Uschy Schneeclaus, 58, from Hamburg, Germany, said: “What a shame for the city of Edinburgh. People come for holidays and go home with bad feelings.”
Anyone with information about motorcycle crime or the dangerous use of motorcycles or quad bikes contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.