Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Six men charged in motorbike crackdown in North Edinburgh

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Media captionLisa Summers reports on motorbike theft and anti-social behaviour in Edinburgh

Six men aged between 16 and 47 have been charged as part of a police crackdown on motorbike theft and anti-social behaviour in North Edinburgh.

Four bikes were recovered during police operations between Wednesday and Thursday.

One man has since pled guilty and been sentenced to eight months in prison.

Officers in Edinburgh said 27 people were charged with 129 similar offences between June and September as part of Operation Soteria.

Residents in the Pilton and Muirhouse areas of the city have warned it is only a matter of time before a pedestrian is killed or seriously injured after an escalation in motorbike theft by teenagers.

Earlier this year, a 14-year-old boy died after colliding with a car on a stolen bike.

Police said they had been pooling resources, including the use of the force's helicopter, to track and catch the thieves.

'Stricter punishment'

Members of the biking community have petitioned the Scottish Parliament to take tougher action against joyriders.

They say they have also faced threats and want stricter punishments.

Ch Insp Jimmy Jones, Area Commander of North West Edinburgh, said: "These arrests demonstrate our ongoing commitment to Operation Soteria and the combat of anti-social behaviour and motorbike-related crimes.

"In the coming months we will be working with our partners in local government and the justice sector to ensure that we tackle this type of criminality head on.

"Motorcycle owners can also help a great deal by ensuring they make it harder for their property to be taken by taking necessary crime prevention precautions in terms of parking and securing their bikes.

"However, to fully tackle this issue, we need the support of the local community in North Edinburgh.

"I would ask anyone with information regarding motorcycle-related offending to share that information with us and help us rid Edinburgh of this dangerous and disruptive crime."

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