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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
'Mini-moto' riders face crackdown
Mini-moto crushing machine in Manchester
The bikes can reach speeds of up to 60mph
Mini-moto riders face having their machines confiscated and crushed, Home Secretary John Reid has warned.

He was in Manchester on Wednesday as part of a nationwide crackdown on illegal riding.

Police will be seizing illegally ridden bikes, such as mini-motorcycles used on public roads, and warning parents not to buy them for their children.

Blackburn, Liverpool, Chester, Oldham, Salford and Halton have also got funds for a targeted enforcement campaign.

The "mini-motos" are popular with young people but can only be ridden in public if the rider is taxed and insured. They can reach speeds of up to 60mph.

Many people believe the bikes can legally be used on pavements, fields, car parks and off-road areas.

Dr John Reid
These bikes are not a bit of fun - they are a danger to the community and the young people driving them
John Reid
Home Secretary

The only place they can be ridden without the relevant cover and licence in place is on private land with the permission of the landowner.

At the Respect task force campaign launch in Wythenshawe, Manchester, Dr Reid saw a machine which crushes confiscated bikes.

Six deaths

He said: "People have had quite enough of this, we know from thousands of calls police have received.

"At worst, these bikes can be a death trap for children and, at best, they're not only illegal but a nuisance to neighbours.

"There are a lot of parents who still don't know it is illegal and think it is just a bit of fun. These bikes are not a bit of fun - they are a danger to the local community and to the young people driving them."

Ch Insp Haydn Roberts, of Greater Manchester Police, said his officers were confiscating 20 mini-motorbikes a week.

He said five people who had been using off-road bikes had died in the county in the last 12 months.

Two of those who died were riding mini-motos.

MP for Halton and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Derek Twigg, was due in Halton to help launch Cheshire Police's crackdown.

The Lancashire and Merseyside forces are also backing the campaign.




SEE ALSO
Mini-motorbikes 'will be crushed'
01 Aug 06 |  UK Politics
Mini mopeds and go-peds destroyed
28 Jun 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
Warning over danger of mini bikes
25 Jul 05 |  Southern Counties
Mini bike menace talks in Commons
18 Jul 05 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Warning over 'illegal' mini bikes
17 Jul 05 |  Derbyshire

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