Edinburgh police go off-road to tackle crime in the Capital

The off-roading officers will have carte blanche to chase joyriders across out-of-bounds terrain

 Edinburgh police go off-road to tackle crime in the Capital

IF YOU can’t beat them, join them.

That’s the tactic Police Scotland is taking in an attempt to combat two-wheeled anti-social behaviour and theft across the capital.

The Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership has purchased four new Honda CRF250s, liveried them up and trained eight officers how to ride them. These officers will be permitted to ride through public parks, woodland paths and over waste ground as part of Operation Soteria – the force’s initiative to deal with motorcycle theft and related disorder.

The bikes will mostly patrol on the weekends, when theft and joyriding is at its most popular. The officers will be armed with a tagging spray that will leave an invisible mark on a suspect, which can later be identified under a special light and used as evidence.

In the past year, Edinburgh has seen more than 500 motorbikes stolen.

"The theft of motorbikes and related offences has become a real problem in parts of Edinburgh and one that is a matter of great concern to the local community,” Chair of Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership Councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan commented.

“This behaviour has a huge impact on victims and can have dangerous and tragic consequences.”

Chief Superintendent Richard Thomas added: “The addition of off-road bikes to the divisional fleet will be invaluable in assisting officers in their on-going campaign to tackle illegal motorcycle activity and associated disorder across the city.

“The people of Edinburgh do not want a small core group of individuals to risk lives by driving dangerously.

"Police Scotland will use motorbikes alongside a range of other tactics to provide community reassurance, engage with young people and motor cyclists and act as a visible deterrent to anti-social behaviour both on and off city roads.”