Police in Edinburgh are relaunching Operation Soteria for 2017 to tackle the theft of motorcycles and associated disorder.
In 2016, dedicated resources and specific patrols were put in place which caused substantial disruption and success in the North of Edinburgh.
While efforts have been ongoing over the last few months to combat motorcycle and associated crime, officers are concerned about a potential rise in activity as the summer months approach. They are also concerned about this activity spreading across the city.
A dedicated Operation Soteria team has begun working out of Drylaw Police Station this week, along with key resources placed throughout the city.
Police Scotland has also launched a video appeal by Chief Inspector James Jones, operational lead for Operation Soteria, appealing directly to the public to assist officers in their efforts to curb offending behaviour.
Officers are also working with key partners in Edinburgh City Council and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to tackle the issues associated with this type of criminality.
Chief Inspector James Jones, Area Commander for North West Edinburgh, said: “Motorcycle crime has been a significant issue in Edinburgh for a number of years, along with associated disorder.
“Besides the impact it causes people in the area and the disruption it causes in their lives, my key concern is the risk to life itself, which is why Operation Soteria remains my number one priority.
“From a police perspective it’s an Edinburgh Division priority and it incorporates and a variety of dedicated resources from intelligence, community and school link officers.
“Despite the positive outcomes of 2016 there is still more that we can do collectively. I would ask if you’re a bike owner to think more about your security, think about when and where you’re parking you bike and take every opportunity to use heaviest duty security available to make it more difficult for the bike thieves.
“If you are a member of the community, keep reporting these incidents and tell us where bikes are being stored or dumped so we can recover them.
“We’ve already seen the tragic loss of a young life following this activity and only very recently there’s been a young male suffer life changing injuries and a result of a collision with a motorcycle.
“If you’re in a position of influence with any of the young people involved in this activity or if you’re in a position to speak to them directly, I would ask and directly appeal to you to make sure that they are fully aware or the risk they are posing both to the community and to themselves and do everything you can to get them to make better choices.
“There’s no easy solution to this long-standing issue but if we work together as part of Soteria then we can bring an end to this dangerous and disruptive behaviour.”
Those wishing to report motorcycle crime in their area can contact Police Scotland on 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.