Harlow council takes out injunction targeting motorcyclists

Injunction bans ‘unauthorised ride outs’ in the town
Harlow council takes out injunction targeting motorcyclists

HARLOW council, with the support of Essex police, has taken out an injunction against motorcyclists that bans them from taking part in so-called ‘unauthorised ride outs’.

Harlow council has used the injunction, which came into force on Saturday and is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, to prevent a planned ride out being organised as a memorial for a young student from the area.

The council believed the event posed a ‘serious danger to both the general public and those taking part and will impact on the local community.’

The injunction, which is effective across the whole of Harlow town until March 31 2017, bans groups of two or more riders from taking part of unauthorised rides between 10am and midnight on any public land or road in Harlow.

Anyone caught breaking the injunction could be sent to court and, subsequently, prison.
Under the terms of the injunction, a number of activities and behaviors are forbidden, including excessive noise, driving in convoy, speeding, sounding horns, causing any nuisance to persons not participating in the ride out and performing stunts.

According to Harlow council, complaints about nuisance bikes from residents in the town have been growing in recent months, with residents concerned about speeding, noise, dangerous driving and antisocial riding.

A spokesperson for Harlow council said:

‘Nuisance particularly from the illegal riding of motorbikes is blighting people's quality of life in Harlow and the Council will not stand by and do nothing. It is becoming an increasing problem, not just in Harlow but other areas in the country, and now we are approaching the warmer months we want to put deterrents into action. The injunction is one of a number of measures the Council working with the Police has in place to target the issue of nuisance bikes.

‘We know the organisers of Saturday's event have the best intentions at heart and that is to hold a ride out in memory of a friend. Regrettably, they have not approached the Council or the Police about this event and despite attempts we have been unable to engage with them.

‘We do want to work with them. We want to see how events like this can be organised safely for everyone, with our support, so adequate resources can be allocated and any nuisance and impact minimised on the surrounding communities.

‘This injunction and the action being taken is not about stopping anyone from having fun. It is about ensuring everyone is safe from harm, that laws are not broken and that our communities are protected from nuisance and antisocial behaviour.’