Police catch up with park bikers

By Alisa Yong -
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The group of young bikers believed to be tearing up a Masterton park have been caught.
The group of young bikers believed to be tearing up a Masterton park have been caught.

A group of young bikers, believed to have been tearing up a newly-upgraded Masterton park and using river trails to evade police, have finally been caught.

Acting Senior Sergeant Ian Osland said police had spent a large part of yesterday fielding complaints about the motorbike group and attempted to stop them in several locations before finally catching them on the river near South Rd at about 2pm.

"Finally today we got them stopped in a location in public and the youths have now been forbidden to drive because they don't have a licence."

Mr Osland said he understood the group may have stopped for a break and had their motorbikes turned off, giving police an advantage.

The group had been "ripping up around town with total disregard for the law and public safety", and police would be looking to impound their bikes if they failed to comply with the order forbidding them to drive.

As an explanation for their behaviour the four teens, who are aged between 15 and 17, said they had nowhere to ride, Mr Osland said.

Parents needed to make sure children with motorbikes had a way of getting them to an appropriate place to ride.

"If a family is going to let them have motorbikes, part and parcel of that is to create the opportunity to get around."

The day before, Masterton East residents had been up in arms as a group of bikers ran amok in McJorrow Park and the surrounding streets, tearing up turf at the park which had recently received a $140,000 upgrade.

One resident had said the bikers were ruining the park for children in the area.

"It's just a shame because the community really pitched in for the new playground and planted trees and did a lot of work there, and then [they] just come in and scream through on their motorbikes not wearing helmets."

A council spokesman has previously said that staff were meeting regularly with police try to find ways to reduce crime through environmental design.

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