Wakefield Officers have warned that illegal bikers are putting themselves and pedestrians at real risk as they launch ‘Don’t take the risk, Don’t risk a life’ on Youtube.
The video was created in house by the force and features a staged crash and raw personal testimony from police officers who have seen the devastating results of serious injury collisions first hand.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Wakefield District Housing and Wakefield District Council also take part in the video.
Sgt Dave Lockwood of the South East NPT, who features in the video, said: “We have seen growing concern from residents over the illegal and dangerous use of off road motorcycles in their communities this year, and this is something we have been working to address.
“I’ve been to road traffic collisions involving off road bikes in which people have been seriously injured or killed and I can say from first-hand experience that the results are devastating for all concerned.
“When you turn up at that house and knock on the door it’s probably the hardest thing a police officer will ever have to do.
“We are human beings and it stays with you. I’ve had sleepless nights and nightmares about the things I’ve seen.”
Sgt James Farrar, who has run a road safety campaign in schools this year, said an incident which haunted him was a collision in which a car pulled in front of a bike going too fast.
Speaking in the video, he said: “He hit the car and was thrown from the bike into a wall. I was first at the scene at that incident. Without any paramedics I had to administer whatever first aid I could but he had terrible injuries.
“Both legs were broken and bent backwards underneath him and his face was already swelling up....I held his hand and tried to reassure him everything would be alright but, deep down I knew everything wouldn’t be alright.
“Whilst holding his hand he died there, right in front of me.”
Sgt Lockwood added: “If the people that ride these bikes could see the sights that the emergency services have to see they would only see that once and that would be it. They would never get on a bike and behave like that again.
“Even if they themselves are uninjured, the riders risk ruining their own lives through driving bans and even possible prison sentences based on the severity of their offending.”
Insp Paul Sullivan of the East NPT, said: “We work very closely with partner agencies from the local authority, WDH, fire service and elected members to do everything we can collectively to target those who ride off road bikes illegally in our communities.
“We have taken a larger than usual amount of reports about illegal off road riding over the course of this year and are aware it is an issue of concern, particularly in the South East area.
“I just hope this video has an impact and does make people think about the awful consequences illegal off road riding can have for them and persons around them.
“I would urge anyone who has information about persons riding illegally in their communities to contact their local neighbourhood policing teams.”