Life on bikes

Bristol police chuffed with lame banning order

A suspected motorcycle thief has been given a comical Criminal Behaviour Order banning him from going near bikes. And Avon & Somerset Police seem to be quite happy with it.

A Bristol teenager suspected of belonging to a known criminal gang has been told by courts he ‘must not be in possession, sit on, ride or be a passenger of any motorbike/moped in the city of Bristol; or be in the company of more than two persons in a public place, unless in the company of his mother.’

If the 17-year-old breaks any of the terms of the Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), issued by Bristol Youth Court on Monday, he can then he can be arrested and prosecuted immediately. He’ll probably be in trouble with his mum, too.

Despite being known to the police since 2014 for “a string of criminal behaviour… including aggravated vehicle taking, riding nuisance bikes, arson, criminal damage and burglary,” the police seem to be happy with the result.

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Avon & Somerset’s head of motorcycle theft in Bristol, inspector Rob Cheeseman, said, in a self-congratulatory press release, “This is good news for Bristol’s motor-biking community, who are rightly fed up with having their bikes stolen and bragged about on social media. It’s also good news for the communities of north Bristol, who have had enough of nuisance bikes being ridden noisily up and down their streets at all times of the day and night, or being left burnt out in public places.”

The wider biking community doesn’t seem to share his enthusiasm. Within hours of the press release going live, typical comments on social media included, “That’s telling him (?!) WTF?”, “Joke sentence” and our personal favourite, “He’s not allowed out. He’s been a very naughty boy…”.

The 17-year old subject of the CBO is from the Henbury area of north Bristol. Henbury is also where teenager Adam Nolan was killed in January of this year when riding pillion on a motorbike reported as stolen to the police. The alleged 16-year-old rider of the bike was charged with causing death by dangerous driving in June.

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Henbury has regularly been associated with bike crime following an online dossier revealing the names of alleged members of the Bristol Bike Taker gang, famous for bragging their exploits on social media. Biker & Bike has a copy of the dossier.

Despite the information being very widely known, Bristol police have not had much success in putting bike thieves away. Henbury resident Noa Naivalurua, 18, and Reece Wigston-Richards, 20, from nearby Brentry, both pleaded guilty in October to attempted theft after bungling the theft of BMW and Triumph motorbikes but, walked away with a suspended sentence and a community service order respectively. Both were named in the dossier on the bike gang.

Two others from the same area also received community service orders and curfew restrictions, and a third, aged 17 (coincidence, huh?) was to be dealt with later at a youth court…

If that is the same person, then despite catching five criminals in the act of stealing two motorbikes worth nearly £10,000, the police have so far managed to imprison none. In fairness to the police, it is the Criminal Justice System that has applied the sentences, as part of a strategy to keep young offenders out of jail.

However, by spinning out a press release about a Criminal Behaviour Order, the police have left themselves open to ridicule, not least from the teenager on the receiving end of it, who must be laughing at the cops’ expense.

Something tells us we should have put this story in our Bantz section, instead.

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