MORE than 20 suspected off-road bikers have been arrested after a police operation on a Coventry industrial estate.
Riders as young as 14 were part of the group and an array of vehicles – mostly stolen – were seized.
Traffic units teamed up with specialist public order teams, dog handlers and neighbourhood police officers for the operation on Sunday (June 17).
Police cornered the suspected road menaces in Coventry’s Seven Stars Industrial Estate.
Police say men aged from 18 to 29 were detained at the scene alongside some teenagers.
Their details have been taken and they will return to a police station for questioning at a later date.
The force seized a total of nine scramblers, mopeds and quad bikes − most of which have been confirmed as stolen − plus two vans used to transport the bikes.
The pre-planned operation was in response to community concerns over anti-social bike gatherings in Coventry.
It is also the latest in a series of operations that has led to more than 50 arrests.
Inspector Andy Bridgewater said: “We used police vehicles to block the industrial estate entry point the group made a determined effort to escape, even pulling up a large concrete bollard, but our officers detained most of the group involved.
“We have run checks on the vehicles seized and most have been reported as stolen.
“Arrangements have been made to interview the suspects with their solicitors at a later date once the CCTV and police drone footage has been fully evaluated.
“The operation was as a result of concerns from the public in Coventry: we’re seeing up to 60 calls a weekend from people worried about the behaviour of off-road bikers in the street, performing stunts, riding on pavements and intimidating other road users.
“It’s dangerous, illegal and we won’t tolerate it. Anyone who takes part in these gatherings and breaks the law needs to understand they risk being arrested, charged with criminal offences and could potentially be jailed.”
A total of 53 people have been arrested as part of West Midland’s Police’s efforts to combat illegal off-road biking – 29 have since been charged with causing a public nuisance of which 18 have admitted the offence and are awaiting sentence.
The other 11 will stand trial accused of joining an illegal bike rally in Solihull and Birmingham during a five-hour rampage on June 26 2016, while police are awaiting a charging decision on the remaining suspects.