Police to crack down on town cycle ‘gangs’

Increased police enforcement activity could now be on the cards in Stornoway against the road safety dangers and ‘low-level’ anti-social behaviour being caused by a ‘gang’ of young people cycling around the town, Police Scotland’s Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Area Commander, Chief Inspector Alasdair Macleod, has confirmed.

By Peter Urpeth
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 3:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 3:46 pm
Concern was raised about the cycle "gangs" at the comhairle's communities and housing committee
Concern was raised about the cycle "gangs" at the comhairle's communities and housing committee

During a meeting of the Comhairle’s Communities and Housing Committee on Tuesday, Point Councillor Norrie MacDonald raised concerns with the chief inspector, that he had seen an increase in “gangs’ of cyclists in Stornoway over the last year riding through the town without lights and causing a danger “most probably to themselves”, doing “wheelies” and being dressed in black “like ninjas”.

Cllr MacDonald stated that he was concerned “someone is going to hit them or kill them and then they would be held responsible”.

Cllr MacDonald added that he understood that when the matter was being raised with the parents, police officers “get the height of abuse in the parental home,” and asked the Chief Inspector “if anything could be done” to stop the young people concerned “committing hari-kari on the roads”.

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The Chief Inspector said that the force were aware of the issue and that he was “quite happy to take some enforcement activity”.

He said that the issue was with a particular group of “young lads” in the town and confirmed that Police Scotland had identified most of those involved.

He confirmed they “don’t really get much of a positive response from them, nor generally from their parents” when they had tried to address road safety issues with them and incidences of anti-social behaviour.

It was “not necessarily trying to prove that the [young people] have committed an offence”, chief inspector Macleod stated, “but to say, firstly, we have a lot of information about your child being responsible for anti-social behaviour, dangerous behaviour in terms of cycling, but also that they are at risk themselves in their behaviour in terms of cycling at night without a bike light on”.

CI Macleod added: “We will see what kind of response we get from that”. He confirmed to Cllr MacDonald that if the young people concerned were under 16 they are committing an offence.