The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has praised the office of Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, following clarification of her recent proposals. Motorcyclists have been alarmed by reports of proposed measures, but MAG has engaged with the office of the PCC and is now looking forward to helping find genuine solutions to the problem of anti-social and criminal use of motorcycles.
Tempers were raised following a press release issued by the sitting PCC for Northumbria, Kim McGuinness. Adrian Pearson, Director of Planning & Delivery at the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, admits that the press release was not very well written, baldly stating that ‘reckless’ riders would have nowhere to go if all motorbikes were fitted with a tracker device. Many members contacted MAG with concerns that law-abiding riders would be punished simply because a criminal element was breaking the law.
MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, contacted the PCC’s office in an attempt to resolve the issue, which has resulted in a clarifying statement.
Pearson has stated:
“To be clear, we’re letting people know that:
1) the PCC is not proposing mandatory tracking devices on all bikes. The press release was not very well written in this regard.
2) We are very open to hearing suggestions from MAG and the motorcycle community on how people who misuse bikes for anti-social behaviour can be stopped.
I would add that the early feedback from the biking community is that they would not support tracking devices on the most at-risk bikes and, as such, I don’t think we’ll be taking this part of the proposals further in our lobbying. We’re working on a revised press release or statement to post on the website clarifying things.”
Colin Brown said:
“I am delighted that we have been able to clarify the situation and arrive at a positive outcome for motorcyclists in Northumbria and beyond. All credit to Adrian Pearson and we fully appreciate the difficulties in arranging short-notice meetings during the PCC election campaigns. We will have a more detailed discussion on the issue following the elections on May 6th. I am also continuing to request a meeting with the Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse – we may even be able to work alongside Northumbria and other PCCs to lobby the Government for genuine solutions to the scourge of motorcycle crime.“
MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said:
“MAG has taken proactive steps on behalf of its members and prevented what could have been a heated argument from developing. I urge all motorcyclists to support MAG and the work it does on their behalf by taking out a membership. The membership benefits far outweigh the cost.”
The original press release has been removed from the PCC’s website. A new statement now replaces the original release – you can find it here.