'Somebody could be killed' - Residents fearful as police launch bike yobs crackdown on Sheffield estates

Police have launched a crackdown on nuisance bikers
Police have launched a crackdown on nuisance bikers
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Residents on a Sheffield estate have said if something isn't done about nuisance bikers somebody could be 'killed'.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed they are dealing with a rise in complaints in the Gleadless Valley area with yobs on motorbikes and quads riding around illegally on the estate.

Illegal bikers in Charnock

Illegal bikers in Charnock

But officers part of the Sheffield South West Local Policing Team admitted they do not know those responsible and are urging people to contact them with information.

Sheila Wright, 76, of Litchford Road, on nearby Arbourthorne, said she was nearly knocked over just three weeks ago on Newfield Green shops. Another woman who didn't want to be named for fear or reprisals, said bikers keep her children up at night as they tear the streets after dark.

Mrs Wright said: "It's terrible. Something has got to be done about it. It's getting worse. Somebody will end up being killed.

"One of them nearly hit my just recently. It's frightening - it definitely shook me up and they don't care.

Bikers in Grenoside Woods

Bikers in Grenoside Woods

"They come with bikes and quads on Newfield Green shops and it does put people off. I don't like coming on here at times. It used to be lovely on here but sadly over the past five or six years it's got worse."

One concerned parent on Blackstock Road who didn't wish to named, said some her friends had moved from the estate due to anti-social behaviour including that from off-road bikes.

She added many riders can be seen around Blackstock Road and Ironside Road at evenings and weekend.

"It can be horrible at times. One day they'll end up hurting someone or themselves. I've even seen one young lad riding around with no helmet on.

"They wake my children up at night and they can be heard at midnight sometimes and even past that.

"It's not just our area though but I just hope the police can do something about it."

One woman walking towards Newfield Green shops said: "You see them around, some without helmets on but to be honest, people have got used to it - it's just life around here.

"What can the police do? Not a lot really. Unless they physically catch them or if mothers' start handing their own sons in."

Another Gleadless Valley resident said the problem with nuisance bikers on the estate was only going to 'get worse'.

"I've not seen much recently but it's going to get worse now the weather has started to warm up.

"It's a bit intimidating when they fly past you but I think there should a designated place for bikers like that to go. That would solve a lot of the problems but like everything it's a case of money."

One man who lives on Blackstock Road but didn't wish to be named said: "I think these people will only stop unless they come of the things and really hurt themselves.

"The police can't do much - they don't have the numbers like they used to."

Elsewhere, in the city a dog walker said reported a gang of off-road bikers police after she was deliberately sprayed with mud and had her windscreen smashed.

The woman parked her van at the edge of Greno Woods, Grenoside, last Sunday and challenged a group for seven bikers for riding along the paths as she walked her dog.

The bikers then revved their engines, covering the woman and her van with mud and stones, before smashing her windscreen.

She said: “We were parked on the edge of Greno Woods - a nature reserve with a strict by-law of no motor vehicles - to let our dog out, when a charming group of seven off-road motorbikers came down towards us.

“When one stopped next to me, I said ‘you know you’re not supposed to be riding in there’. At that point some of the riders rode to the front of our vehicle and started churning engines to spray us and our vehicle with mud and stones.

“I tried to stop them, but as there were so many, I gave up.

“As I went to get into our van, one jumped on our bonnet, hanging onto the wing mirror for support and kicked our windscreen in.

“We called 999 and waited 40 minutes, only to get a call from police to apologise for the delay and to tell us that they couldn’t get out to us, so could we drive home and they’d call to get a report later.

John Neely said off-road bikers regularly ride along Burncross Road, in woods behind Chapeltown Park and Smithywood Business Park, in Thorncliffe woods and West Wood in High Green.

Rob O’neill said Wybourn has a problem with the bikers and Joanne Copnell said the bikers are often on Westfield field, off Moss Way, Westfield.

A spokesman for the Sheffield South West Local Policing Team said: "The last few weeks have seen a sharp rise in the number of reported incidents involving nuisance off-road bikes riding illegally in the Gleadless Valley area.
"It is believed that a very small number of individuals are responsible for these incidents.

"At this time the Local Policing Team at Woodseats have no information that will lead us to locate the offending vehicles and prosecute the offenders.

"Ourselves and residents are well aware of the safety threat that these individuals pose to the general public. We are therefore asking any resident who can provide us with any relevant information to do so."

Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.