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Motorcycle crime task-force arrests 30 suspects in three months

A motorcycle crime task force called Operation Benelli has been set up by Northumbria Police to combat motorcycle crime and anti-social behaviour.

NORTHUMBRIA Police have set up a specialist unit of officers to try and combat motorcycle crime and anti-social behaviour in the north of England.

Operation Benelli, as its been called, has been so successful the team have arrested 30 suspects in the three months since the project was announced.

ChronicleLive reports that the team has been using covert tactics to capture the criminals, who it’s claimed are roaming the region on already stolen motorcycles looking for other vehicles and property to steal. It’s claimed the they have reported that some of the crimes have involved motorcycles been taken from owners while they are in use, being either kicked or violently removed from their bike.

The team have been put together after a surge in motorcycle crime and anti-social behaviour have been reported in the area, going against the notion that motorcycle crime is a London based problem.

Operation Benelli was set up in April by DCI Paul Knox, who at the time said, “This is a big problem for us now. It's getting out of control and it's a real concern.

“It's only a matter of time before somebody gets hurt, either a member of the public, another road users or one of the kids themselves. We are not a [sized problem] London, but London started somewhere.”

The team’s work has not gone unnoticed, as Operation Benelli will feature in a BBC One documentary called ‘Our Cops in the North’, shown last night.

Detective Sergeant Craig Brown, how oversees the work of the team, said:

“It is important to recognise that the vast amount of incidents we deal with do not involve any violence and bikes have been stolen because they haven't been adequately secured.

“However, as you will see on tonight's programme, some of those involved in this criminality will resort to serious violence.

“It is a big challenge for us but we have been very proactive and in the last three months alone we have made 30 arrests.

“We have seized nearly a hundred stolen motorcycles and the convictions are already starting to come through the courts.

“Our biggest message has always been that we want the public to work with us so we can continue to nip this offending in the bud.

“If you see people riding on motorcycles and acting suspiciously then give us a call. You can help us prevent a theft or identify someone who has already committed an offence.”

Although the show has already aired, it is available on the BBC’s iPlayer and is available to watch until the 16th August.

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