Lives being put at risk by reckless bikers says Duffy

Tyre marks on the green near Ballyoran Park.
Tyre marks on the green near Ballyoran Park.

Lives are being put at risk by off-road bikes being driven recklessly in the Ballyoran Park area, it has been claimed.

Sinn Fein councillor Paul Duffy said he had been contacted by “terrified” residents, many of them elderly, concerned about the unlawful activity over the past two weeks.

He said, “Greens, on which children were playing, have been badly cut up and houses were left covered in muck. Residents.. have contacted me reporting that the driver continued his rampage down narrow alleyways used frequently by walkers.

“In these lighter nights, children are out playing football on the green, and the bikes are flying up and down among them.

“It is high risk and there is no doubt that this reckless behaviour could cost lives. I call on those engaging in this thoughtless and unlawful behaviour to desist immediately.”

He said he had reported the matter to police.

He also pointed out that in July 2016 a young mother-of-three was knocked down and killed by a scrambler as she walked her dog in a park in Belfast.

“I have contacted the PSNI to raise my concerns and have asked that there be an increased presence in the area.

“I would urge anyone who witnesses this destructive behaviour to report it immediately, either to myself, or the PSNI using the 101 number,” he added.

Sergeant Barbara McNally said: “We would appeal to the public to report this type of activity to us when it happens - so that we can take immediate steps to address it. We would also ask parents to ensure their children are not involved in this kind of behaviour.

“We believe that a number of young people are riding these bikes on pavements and off-road without wearing helmets – and by doing so are putting themselves at risk of serious injury.

“They are also putting the safety of pedestrians at risk and showing very little concern for residents in the area. It is an activity that is noisy, disruptive and dangerous.

“If you have any information about these incidents, please contact police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 883 of 15/03/17.”