On the 16th of Feb me and Steve Bolton (Yorkshire political rep) attended a meeting at Leeds Civic Hall with Councillor Debra Coupar, Chief Superintendent Paul Money and Adrian Tonge (legal services LCC). The meeting opened with a frank admission from Councillor Coupar that there have been failings from both the council and police in the implementation and notice of the injunction as they’ve never had to put one in place before. Lessons will be learnt. She apologised on behalf of the council for any misunderstandings that have arisen.
The injunction is on an offshoot of the council website but not on the main site – again a mistake she admitted to and an apology was given.
Chief Superintendent Money stressed that the injunction was in no way whatsoever going to affect legal riders in any way. The injunction is intended to be served to individuals (not groups) prior to any events, as and when intelligence highlights any potential illegal rides.
The injunction will not be used to stop group rides from both clubs and groups of friends, or affect charity rides, funeral processions or even demonstration rides – so long as individuals involved are legal.
He regretted the lack of resources available on the night of the Halloween ride out but admitted his hands were tied and the police did the best they could to keep the public safe.
Using intelligence gained from the video footage, over 30 people have been sent to the youth courts, magistrates court and crown court that were directly involved in the Halloween ride. The injunction has already been served six times in the last two months to stop illegal rides before they happen. It will also be used to clamp down on illegal riders on off road bikes causing a public nuisance.
We’ve been assured that, in the future, MAG will be fully informed of any similar actions from either Leeds city council or the police in Leeds.
We suggested that MAG organised an event to promote a positive image of bikers and both the council and police were keen to be seen to be backing us up and want to be involved. Details are to be negotiated but all ideas will be looked at so if you have an idea for an event to promote the positive image of bikers, let me know.
All in all the meeting cleared up a lot of our fears over the injunction and we left the meeting feeling like we’d made some allies in high places.
Manny (Leeds and Bradford MAG rep)
On the 7th of Feb we held our AGM. The minutes of this meeting are now available for download. The new committee looks like this:
Leeds MAG Rep
Leeds MAG Vice Rep
Leeds MAG Treasurer
Leeds MAG MAP Liaison
Keith Maven (Martin Smith dep when required)
Leeds MAG Membership Secretary
Leeds MAG Web Officer
Leeds MAG New Rider Rep
Leeds MAG Club Liaison
Leeds MAG Political Officer
Leeds MAG Press Liaison
Leeds MAG Communication Secretary
Events Promotions Secretary
Zoe Thompson/ Gavin Weiner jointly
Our thanks to everyone who sat on the committee last year.
We will be holding our AGM on the 7th of Feb 2017 at 8 pm in the upstairs room at The Royal in Pudsey. We’ll provide a rundown of what Leeds MAG has been up to over the past year and answer any questions that people might have. It’s been another busy year, with the West Yorkshire and Leeds transport consultations, the Halloween anti-social “rideout” and subsequent injunction, plus our own fundraising and social events.
All committee positions will be up for election if you feel like getting even more involved. Please bring your MAG membership card if you wish to vote. The positions available are:
- Rep – running and coordinating the group
- Vice rep – standing in for and supporting the rep when needed
- Treasurer – looking after the finances of the group
- MAP Liaison – attending the Yorkshire rallies meetings and reporting back
- Membership Secretary – encouraging new people to join MAG and the Leeds group in particular
- Web Master – look after the Leeds MAG website
- New Rider Rep – to encourage and facilitate the involvement of new riders in Leeds MAG
- Club Liaison – to liaise with local clubs in the Leeds and Bradford areas
- Political Officer – to attend meetings with the councils and keep abreast of local developments
- Press Officer – to keep in contact with the press and arrange press releases and interviews
- Communication Secretary – getting the emails out to you guys to keep members involved
- NEW ROLE – Event Promotion Secretary – to promote and share all Leeds MAG events on both social media, with MAG central office and in the press as a whole. It’s an important part of our success and it would be a great help if someone could do this.
As one of the most active local MAG groups we’ve achieved a lot and we always appreciate the support from our members. If you only come to one meeting this year, make it this one.
News from the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG)
MAG urges ‘joint approach’ to anti-social behaviour involving bikes
This version: 2017 01 04 Embargo:
The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, has called on Leeds City Council to take a measured approach in partnership with local biking interest groups to address anti-social behaviour problems which occurred in October 2016.
‘MAG is completely in agreement with the authorities about the need to deal with the hooligan behaviour of a disruptive element of individuals in the area,’ says MAG’s spokesperson in Leeds, Richard Manton. ‘The fact that these irresponsible louts happened to be on motorcycles has meant that MAG needs to ensure their antics do not reflect badly on real bikers, who have no interest in causing alarm and inconvenience to the general public. We therefore offer our assistance in addressing these issues, and underline the importance of not penalising law-abiding citizens due to the idiocy of a small minority.’
The Council has introduced an injunction outlawing certain behaviours which could cause alarm, nuisance, harassment of the public or property damage. ‘While the principle of the injunction is understandable on the basis that the Council felt it had to act quickly,’ adds Mr Manton, ‘we are nevertheless concerned that its very wide-reaching powers don’t inhibit lawful riding in the city. The way it has been worded means it could end up being tested in court. We’d like to avoid that by ensuring terms of understanding between ourselves on behalf of the riding community and the police and Council representatives on behalf of the authorities. That’s what I’m doing now – and I have to say we’d have done this even sooner if it had not been so hard to acquire a copy of the injunction and its wording – but we are where we are.’
MAG has been actively engaged nationwide with other local authorities to seek a lasting resolution to these issues. The organisation is also set to approach the body representing police chiefs to seek a nationwide solution which protects the public without discriminating against legitimate riders.’
Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or email@example.com
MAG slams Leeds louts as ‘the worst example of behaviour in recent years’
This version: 2016 11 01 Embargo:
The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, has slammed the ‘irresponsible and dangerous behaviour’ of 200 antisocial hooligans in Leeds as ‘the worst example of behaviour in recent years.’
MAG’s Regional Representative, Richard ‘Manny’ Manton, has distanced the organisation from any association whatsoever with the antics of the louts: ‘MAG has been promoting responsible and considerate riding for over 40 years. The overwhelming majority of riders respect and uphold the principles of good road craft and thoughtful use of our highways. From time to time all activities attract a hooligan element that reflect very badly on the individuals themselves.
‘These people are not riders in the proper sense, but idiots on two wheels, just as some choose to act irresponsibly on four wheels – or on foot. MAG would like to reiterate that those tearing through the streets on motorcycles with complete disregard for others are not a true representation of the majority of riders in the UK, and deserve to be prosecuted for breaches of the laws currently in place in the interests of public safety.’
The Chair of MAG, Selina Lavender, says the organisation is contacting the police and the local authorities to discuss how best to address these issues in the longer term. ‘The laws already exist to prosecute these immature and stupid fools. We’re exploring whether there is a way MAG can assist with educating younger people to understand the idiocy of this behaviour and thereby use social pressure as a powerful tool to prevent a recurrence of such an incident in future.’
Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve received the info from our Freedom Of Information request to West Yorkshire Police regarding motorcycle theft in Leeds and Bradford and it makes for unsettling reading. There are two files in the request: this FOI Covering Letter and these FOI details. We’ve analyzed it and found the following points:
- Motorcycle thefts in the 12 months was – 1003
- Total motorcycle NOT recovered – 554 (55.23% of stolen bikes are never recovered)
- If your bike is stolen, you’ve less than 45% chance of seeing it again!
- Below are a few statistics taken from the West Yorkshire Police figures
- Out of the total number of thefts 103 investigations are “ongoing” (10.26% are still being investigated)
- Out of the total number of thefts 26 resulted in a charge or summons (2.59% were prosecuted)
- Out of the total number of thefts 5 resulted in a caution (0.49% received an adult or youth caution)
- Out of the total number of thefts 1 received a community resolution (0.099%)
- The rest of the thefts, 868 were classed as Investigation complete or Evidential difficulties/No suspect ID – 86.54% of thefts of motorcycles in Leeds and Bradford have had the case closed and no one will ever be charged
Abridged and printed versions will be available at the meeting at the Royal tomorrow, where we have a crime reduction officer in attendance. We’d like as many bikers as possible to come along at 8 pm prompt, whether MAG members or not, as this affects all of us. Hope to see you all tomorrow evening.
We’ve got a very busy meeting on Tuesday @ The Royal (LS28 8PR) from 8pm.
Lots of stuff to discuss including both the Leeds and West Yorkshire Combined Authority consultations that we’re involved with. Links are on the Leeds MAG web page – please respond to them as we’ve worked very hard to get a better deal for local bikers and your response will make a difference.
After a message regarding the amount of bike thefts locally I’ve put in a freedom of information request to WY police for all data on bike thefts in all LS & BD postcodes. I’ve also booked a police officer to come to our meeting on Tuesday 6th September. Please try to attend as it would be great to show the strength of feeling to someone at the sharp end. Meeting will start at 8pm
Finally, check out the events list. We’ve got loads of things happening and we’d love you to come along and support them. Without your attendance and support, the group wouldn’t exist.
Enjoy the weather and ride safe
In addition to the WYCA consultation, Leeds City Council have decided to carry out their own consultation. Throughout our work with the West Yorkshire councils, Leeds council have been transparently pro cycle and anti motorcycle. Filling in surveys like this can help to get our concerns moved up the agenda. Considering cycles have had £38 million spent on their safety in the last year and motorcycles have had nothing (and haven’t even been given use of bus lanes at a cost of nothing in real terms) when both are classed as vulnerable road users, it’s nothing short of a disgrace! Please fill in this survey, mention bus lanes, secure parking, encouraging PTW’s, helmet lockers for commuters etc. Share it with fellow bikers and encourage them to fill it in. The more of us that fill it in, the more chance we have of getting our voices heard. Thanks in advance. The consultation is available at http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Leeds-transport-conversations.aspx and will be open until the 20th of September 2016.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! As you will be aware, the three West Yorkshire MAG branches have been campaigning for a long time to get motorbikes legally entitled to use local Bus Lanes for a long time.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority, peeps in smart suits, have accepted the principle, along with better road engineering and parking provision for Motorcycles in their latest Strategy document, now out for consultation.
There is a survey to complete as part of that consultation process and we really need as many bikers as we can muster to fill it in and add their positive feedback comments – let them know you’re a biker – in the free text box towards the end. This is the link you need: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/transtrat2i
The powers that be have told us just that!
It will only take a few minutes to fill in and will help us enormously to finish this campaign off successfully, we’ve been battling for four years, help us to help you now, we’ve been doing it for you
Please share this post far and wide!
Thank you in advance for your support