Police investigating the Halloween ‘ride out’ incident in Leeds where a large number of motorbikes congregated and were ridden dangerously and anti-socially through the city have arrested seven people in early morning raids today.
The six men, aged 22 to 26, and a 29-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance in relation to the incident where motorbikes and quad bikes congregated in Kirkstall Road before a large number were ridden through the city centre en masse, including through pedestrian areas and shopping arcades, on the evening of October 31.
Officers from Leeds District, supported by colleagues from West Yorkshire Police’s Protective Services Operations, made the arrests and carried out searches of addresses in Bramley, Armley, Harehills, Burmantofts, Roundhay, Farnley, and Batley.
They seized four motorbikes and a number of items of motorcycle equipment, such as helmets and clothing, as part of the investigation.
The arrests follow comprehensive enquiries into the incident including weeks of detailed analysis of CCTV images and other footage from the night.
Detectives are now appealing for the public’s help in identifying ten males shown on CCTV images (as attached).
Enquiries have also identified around 80 registration numbers of vehicles involved in the incident and work is ongoing to identify the people using them with a view to further action.
Leeds City Council has today been granted an injunction at the County Court at Leeds as part of wider plans to give the authorities additional powers to prevent any future such events.
The interim order under Section 1 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 bans anyone from participating in anti-social driving of motor vehicles, including motorbikes and quad bikes, involving two or more motor vehicles in any public place in the Leeds district.
The order also forbids people from promoting, organising or publicising the anti-social driving of motor vehicles.
The injunction carries a power of arrest and applies to equally to passengers of any vehicle encouraging others to drive anti-socially.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “The behaviour that was witnessed in the city that night put people’s safety at risk, caused unnecessary fear to the public and created an image of lawlessness that we simply cannot allow to go unchecked.
“We promised robust action to target those involved and today’s operation sees us delivering on that. The arrests we have made today are by no way the conclusion of this investigation and we do anticipate identifying other suspects and making further arrests as well as taking other action to prosecute other offences arising from this incident. We are asking for the public to assist us in identifying any of the ten further suspects that are shown on the images we have released today.
“I want to reassure people who were directly affected by this incident and also the wider community that we will continue to work closely alongside our partners in the local authority to put comprehensive plans in place to prevent and deter any similar events. We hope today’s operation and our continuing investigation will send out a very clear message to anyone who is considering arranging or taking part in any such event in the future.”
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for Safer Leeds, said: “The behaviour of this particular group of individuals in riding so recklessly through the pedestrianised areas of the city centre and on many busy roads was extremely dangerous and completely unacceptable.
“We have therefore taken the necessary step to pursue through the courts this injunction order, which will provide us with more tools to take proactive and firm action to stop people who have done so previously, taking part in this type of disorder again in the future.
“I would like to make it clear that this injunction was not secured to hinder in any way the enjoyment of motorcyclists and others that enjoy riding in groups in a law abiding and sensible fashion. The injunction is there to provide us with the tools to take proactive action against those individuals who are seeking to behave in such an irresponsible way as this group did, which put the safety of residents and motorists at real risk.”
Anyone who knows the identity of the suspects shown in the images or who has any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact officers on Operation Dice via 101 quoting crime number 13160541790 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
* The organiser of the event, a 26-year-old man from Headingley, was arrested on November 1 and remains on police bail pending further enquiries.