Following two incidents of taxis being hit by stones thrown by a group of youths in the Orchard Park area of Hull, we are working with those drivers to address their concerns.
Superintendent Simon Gawthorpe said: “We are investigating incidents reported to us recently about taxis being damaged on Orchard Park and we’re working with the taxi firms to both address their issues and look at how we can work with them.
“Officers are meeting with the chair of Hull’s Hackney Carriage Association tomorrow. Two incidents reported to us recently were on Thorpepark Road where a vehicle was damaged, and on Dane Park Road on Saturday where a taxi’s windscreen was cracked because a group of teenagers had thrown a stone at the cars.
“Fortunately the drivers were not injured, but they were shaken and could not continue with their work as the damage to their vehicles had to be repaired.
“We will not accept this kind of antisocial behaviour. It can be extremely dangerous. It is a crime and we will find those responsible.
“I want to remind those youths that taxi drivers make their living from driving, they are the people who might take their grandparents to the shops, help people who have mobility problems, and get people home safely at all hours of the day.
“I’ve heard that Orchard Park has been described as a no-go zone. I want to reassure people living in Orchard Park and those who come into the estate that this is simply not the case. I cannot stress how hard my officers work and will continue to work to make sure Orchard Park is a good and safe place to live and work.
“We have highlighted what our officers are doing on numerous occasions, as well as the feedback we are getting as part of our Humber Talking initiative and the work we are doing in the community in response to that.
“One of the concerns that has come out of Humber Talking as well as antisocial behaviour is about nuisance motorbikes and motorbike crime and theft on Orchard Park.
“We have our ongoing Operation Yellowfin which tackles motorbike crime, not just in Hull but across the whole of the force region. We have dedicated officers who look at the different ways to combat it.
“Senior officers held a meeting last week to discuss the next steps we are taking to build on the success the operation has had over the last year. It was in the same week that we arrested five of the key offenders we know to be causing most of the problems.
“We are also aware of a number of social media posts involving incidents of bike theft and related crimes being committed, then being put online. I want to make it clear that those involved are known to us, and we have made arrests already in connection with them. We will be making more.
“We have a zero tolerance to those individuals who are causing the most harm and who are committing serious crimes.
“Some our tactics are to use scanners to check if a bike is stolen, use specialist semi-permanent DNA spray that marks a bike and rider which can be easily identified at a later date, work with motorbike shops who provide security advice and discounted safety equipment, and with petrol stations who restrict petrol sales to riders of suspected stolen or illegal bikes.
“We are also liaising with other forces to learn about their tactics, and we have an officer who has joined us from the Metropolitan Police bike team in London and is providing an invaluable insight into the work he did in the capital.
“We have built up a much greater intelligence base, know much more about the type of crimes being committed, and know who the main offenders are. Most of them are teenagers and are underage.
“It is an issue that we are very aware of and my officers are working tirelessly to make sure that it gets better. I feel we are in a much better position to tackle motorbike crime in a much more robust way.
“As always we want anyone to actively report any issues to us so we can deal with them. Our officers are best placed to investigate, catch those responsible, and ultimately bring offenders before the courts.”
If you have any information relating to antisocial or criminal behaviour, or motorbike crime please call us on our non-emergency number of 101 or in an emergency on 999. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.