Category Archives: News

Yorkshire Day!

Get your flat caps, Nora Batty tights and whippets out (not a euphemism!). Our next social event will be a celebration of Yorkshire Day on the 29th of July at the Royal Hotel in Pudsey. We’ve got a busy day ahead with lots going on. All proceeds will be split between MAG and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Be there or be Lancastrian!

Leeds and Bradford Motorcycle Theft Figures

We’ve carried out a new Freedom of Information Act request covering motorcycle thefts in postcode areas beginning with BD and LS for 1st April 2015 – 31st March 2016, and 1st April 2016 – 31st March 2017. As before the recovery and prosecution  rates are extremely low. The figures are as follows:

First the recovery rates:

2015-16 2016-17
Recovered 449 509
Not recovered 554 603
Total 1003 1112
Recovery rate 44.77% 45.77%

And in a graph:

If your bike is stolen you’ve got a less than 46% chance of seeing it again.

Next, the actions taken after theft:

2015-16 2016-17
Investigations ongoing 103 50
Charged or summonsed 26 36
Cautioned 5 5
Community resolution 1 1
Investigation complete/evidential difficulties/no suspect ID 868 1020
Total 1003 1112

The chances of something actually happening to bike thieves is less than 10%. And in a graph:

We’re not happy with these very low rates and we’re working with the police to do what we can to improve things. We’ll keep you posted about what happens.

Leeds MAG 3rd Bargain Hunt

Thanks to everyone who came to the third Leeds MAG bargain hunt challenge today. It was a fun day and everything is now listed as auctions with 99p start prices. Everything will be live and for sale from 21.35 tonight and will end next Sunday night. The winner will be whoever makes the most money above the start price. All money raised will go straight to MAG to promote and protect riders rights. To look at the ‘bargains’ just go to http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html… and all the delights will be revealed. Happy bidding.

Leeds Injunction Update

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.
Ride safe
Manny (Leeds and Bradford MAG rep)

MAG: Don’t ban legal riding because of hooligans

News from the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG)

MAG: Don’t ban legal riding because of hooligans

This version: 2017 02 15 Embargo: IMMEDIATE

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for the rights of lawful riders, is currently looking at injunctions taken out by a number of local councils in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour undertaken on motorcycles.

Steve Bolton, one of MAG’s Liaison Officers, commented ‘Motorcycling is an activity enjoyed by all who take part in it. It draws people from all backgrounds and age groups, with an eclectic outlook on life. Unfortunately it is also an activity that, from time to time, attracts elements of society who exhibit some degree of over-exuberance and high spirits. It always has and, no doubt, always will – but nothing on the scale of what has been witnessed recently from these hooligans, who often organise and promote their activities via social media.

‘MAG unconditionally distances itself from this anti-social behaviour, which we have seen at different times and in various locations around the country. We are about to embark on a series of meetings and conferences with Local Authorities and the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) to ensure that bikers going about their daily lawful business do not suffer as a result of mismanaged or misdirected enforcement of these injunctions. The enforcement strategy must target those whose misdemeanors have created the need for these injunctions and no one else.’

MAG seeks to meet with the NPCC to cover these points and agree a way forward that doesn’t depend on blunt and indiscriminate injunctions that potentially outlaw legal riding alongside the true targets of the legislation: the hooligans who break existing laws in mass numbers and happen to be doing so on two wheels.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

ENDS

2017 AGM Minutes

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
Richard Manton

Leeds MAG Vice Rep
Martin Thompson

Leeds MAG Treasurer
Kate Williams

Leeds MAG MAP Liaison
Keith Maven (Martin Smith dep when required)

Leeds MAG Membership Secretary
Duncan Fryer

Leeds MAG Web Officer
Marcus Houlden

Leeds MAG New Rider Rep
Marcus Houlden

Leeds MAG Club Liaison
Helen Taylor

Leeds MAG Political Officer
Steve Corbridge

Leeds MAG Press Liaison
John Nettleship

Leeds MAG Communication Secretary
Sally Johnson

Events Promotions Secretary
Zoe Thompson/ Gavin Weiner jointly

Our thanks to everyone who sat on the committee last year.

Leeds MAG AGM – 7th Feb 2017

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.

Leeds Injunction and MAG

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 central-office@mag-uk.org

MAG slams Leeds louts as ‘the worst example of behaviour in recent years’

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 central-office@mag-uk.org

ENDS

Leeds Crime Stats and 6th Sept Meeting

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.