Stingers to be deployed against quadbikes in South Leeds

‘Stingers’ – a device that Police can use to throw a mat of spikes across a road to puncture the tyres of vehicles that fail to stop – could be in use soon in South Leeds against anti-social quadbikes and motorbikes.

The news came at a meeting of the Inner South Community Committee yesterday (6 September 2023) when Councillors were questioning Inspector Mark Lund of the Leeds South Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Asked about the long running problem of anti-social quadbikes and motorbikes, particularly in Middleton, but across the whole area, he said:

“The legislation has slightly changed which means we are allowed to use them against quads and motorbikes in certain circumstances. All NPT teams are being trained and we’re going to be doing proactive operations in Cross Flatts Park, Middleton Park wherever the quad bikes and bikes are and we can head them down paths and use a stinger. We’ve got to just think about the risk to the public however and the risk to the individuals. If you’re on a motorbike and you take the tyres out they’re only going one way, but quadbikes don’t fall over when the tyres are gone.”

Councillors expressed their concerns previous Inspectors hadn’t stayed in post very long. Cllr Paul Wray (Labour, Hunslet & Riverside) said:

“We would like some stability in leadership in South Leeds, you are our fourth inspector in less than two years.”

Insp Lund, who has previously served as a Sergeant in the team and on, replied that he was here to stay, this was the job he most enjoyed in Policing and he had no plans to apply for promotion. He said he was keen to work in partnerships and recognised that meant him attending meetings and building relationships.

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal (Labour, Hunslet & Riverside) asked about the dedicated sex work phone which has often been unobtainable when residents have tried to ring it in recent months. He people were frustrated and losing confidence in the Police.

Insp Lund detailed handover procedures to ensure all phone calls were followed up and an explanation of why the phone was switched off at any time before 11pm (when it goes to answerphone).

“Having been on the team, directly, I recognise and understand the importance of this phone and frustrations that the public have” he said.

He joined Councillors in encouraging residents to report every incident they witness and are concerned about. Whilst officers may not be able attend, every report helps build up a picture so that resources can be deployed more effectively.

“Please report everything, anonymously if you wish. The more I know the more I can react. 101 online is the quickest and easiest and you don’t have to give your details if you don’t want to” he said.


Photo: A quad bike seized by the Police off road bike team


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