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Officers remind the public of the dangers of illegal off-road bikes and motorcycles ahead of Christmas

News   •   Dec 06, 2018 09:18 GMT

Merseyside Police is reminding people of the dangers of the illegal use of motorcycles and off-road bikes and urging parents and guardians to think seriously before purchasing them as gifts this Christmas.

We have also shared footage of a collision which occurred in St Helens in 2017, which seriously injured a young girl.

At around 3.30pm on Friday, 13 January 2017, Jessica Chisnall, aged 15 at the time, was walking home from school on Ashtons Green Drive, St Helens when an off-road bike mounted the pavement and collided with her.

Jessica was taken to hospital with serious injuries and put in a medically-induced coma. Jessica suffered with bleeding on the brain, eye socket injuries and deep cuts, and was treated at Alder Hey Neurology department before continuing her recovery at home.

The rider and passenger, who were 12 and 16 at the time of the incident, made off from the incident and were later arrested. The 16-year-old was later given a Detention and Training Order and disqualified from driving for five years. The 12-year-old was given a Youth Referral Order.

The off-road bike had been given to the 16-year-old passenger of the bike as a reward for good achievement in school.

Chief Inspector Gary O’Rourke said: “This CCTV footage is a harrowing and stark reminder of the dangers that illegal motorcycles and off-road bikes can present and as distressing as it is to watch, I hope it makes people seriously reconsider before purchasing one.

Jess and her family have shown immense courage by agreeing to the release of the footage and it is incredibly important that people are shown the devastating consequences that can be caused by using these motorcycles and off-road bikes.

Through the force’s Operation Brookdale campaign, which focuses on reducing the illegal use of these motorcycles and bikes, we are committed to eradicating the nuisance they cause to our communities. At this time of year, it’s vital that parents, guardians, family members and friends think seriously about the potential risks before purchasing an off-road bike or motorcycle as a Christmas present. I can’t stress enough that these bikes are not toys and when used illegally they can have serious and even fatal consequences.

"As upsetting as it is, this CCTV speaks for itself, and shows the true danger that can be caused by illegal and dangerous use of off-road vehicles. The injuries suffered by Jess on that day were completely avoidable and Jess and her family continue to suffer because of the reckless behaviour of two individuals who didn’t think of the consequences that riding a powerful motorbike in a built-up area might cause.

If you have information on where they are being stored, where they are regularly being ridden, and what vehicles are transporting them – let us know, report online, call Crimestoppers, or send a message to us on social media. We will take action whenever we can to remove dangerous vehicles from the streets."

Anyone with information on who is using these bikes and where they are being stored is asked to contact @MerPolCC, to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.