Police officers were called to Westwood Cross today (February 22) to reports of young people on bikes riding in a dangerous manner.
Officers were called at 11.05am to a report that a group of young people were riding bicycles and motorcycles in an antisocial way. The group had split up before police arrived but officers tracked down those believed responsible and gave them advice about their behaviour.
The incident follows a string of complaints across the isle of youngsters on bikes weaving in and out of traffic and in some cases shouting abuse at drivers and pedestrians.
Reports include intimidating behaviour by groups at sainsbury’s Westwood Cross and outside McDonalds where there were complaints of a group of bike-riding youngsters spitting on cars.
Last November a 15-year-old boy from Ramsgate was charged with failing to comply with the dispersal order following a crackdown by police in Westwood.
The teenager was arrested and charged and more than 10 children spoken to by officers following reports of anti-social behaviour in the area.
A number of 48-hour dispersal orders were previously put in place between October 19-27 as part of work responding to concerns about nuisance cycling and disturbances caused in both the pedestrianised areas of the retail parks as well as Northwood Road, Star Avenue, Poorhole Lane and Westwood Road.
The dispersal orders give officers extra powers under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to tackle nuisance behaviour and order the culprits to leave the area. If they return to the area within a specified time, they can be arrested. During that week officers from the Thanet Community Policing Team with Police Community Support Officers dispersed 13 children aged between 12 and 16, and three bicycles were seized by officers for nuisance riding.
Sergeant Neil Fuller from Thanet Community Policing Team said: “While we have no problem if young people want to be out on their bikes, this particular approach is concerning and puts both them and others at risk from injury.”