Yesterday, Sunday, 26 November, beginning around 12PM, the 9-1-1 Communications Centre received several calls from residents in West Bay and George Town about reckless riding by a large group of youths on several motorbikes. There were reports that the bikers were riding on both sides of the road, riding on one wheel and performing stunts toward oncoming traffic, and even stopping traffic against the light so that a large group could pass. The callers indicated that the riding was dangerous and nearly caused collisions with other cars and pedestrians. Altogether, it is estimated that about two hundred people, believed to be mostly from the local community, took part in the unsanctioned ride. The ride appears to have begun in West Bay and headed through George Town toward East End.
Members of the Neighbourhood Policing Department, the Traffic Management Unit, uniform shift officers as well as members of senior management, including the Commissioner himself, responded to the reports. A road block was set up on Bodden Town Road around 3:30PM to prevent the motor bikers, who had travelled to East End, from returning to George Town. The police helicopter was also deployed to the scene and provided information regarding the movements of bikers, several of whom diverted into the Midland Acres development to avoid the roadblock. Around 4:00PM about 75-100 of the bikers charged the roadblock, including one man driving a white ATV. The bikers charged the officers personally, threw bottles at officers, behaved in a threatening manner, and engaged in other reckless and dangerous acts while charging the road block.
The police helicopter guided officers to the location of the white ATV. Police arrested the rider, age 30, of West Bay, for dangerous driving and multiple traffic offences. The ATV was seized, and a picture of it is attached. The man is now on Police bail.
The police helicopter also landed on the beach near Midland Acres, and one of the tactical flight officers deployed from the helicopter to assist and NPD officer apprehend a man suspected of being involved in the gathering. Shortly thereafter, the helicopter landed in another area of Midland Acres and assisted traffic officers in apprehending to women riding dirt bikes and seizing their bikes.
A number of riders hid their bikes near Midland Acres and departed in vehicles in different directions. The police helicopter assisted officers on the ground retrieve these bikes from various locations. Altogether, ten motorbikes were retrieved and seized. Pictures of some of these bikes are attached.
Other instances of disturbing and reckless behaviour by the motor bikers were reported. In one instance, crowds of motor bikers on Queens Highway blocked an ambulance’s path toward East End when responding to an emergency medical call on Gumby Drive. Police responded to the medical call from Rum Point, and the ambulance also ultimately reached the address.
“What we witnessed yesterday was inexcusable behaviour on our roads by a group of people with little regard for their safety or anyone else’s,” said Kurt Walton, Deputy Commissioner of Police. “Whether or not these young people are just looking for an outlet, and whether or not a track for off-road riding should or should not exist, there is no excuse for the criminally dangerous behaviour we saw yesterday, and the utter disrespect shown for both the police and other road users. It is pure luck that someone was not killed or seriously injured.”
Further to the release below, please note the following:
The Commissioner is establishing a Task Force, headed by Deputy Commissioner Kurt Walton, which will be addressing this issue holistically together with agency partners and organizations, both public and private. The Task Force is undertaking investigations into yesterday’s event and the offences of dangerous driving, affray, unlawful assembly, threatening offences, reckless and dangerous acts among other offences that appear to have taken place. We are requesting that anyone with any information about yesterday’s event and those who participated, and further, that anyone with footage of the event and motor bikers on the roads, please contact PC Jodi-Ann Powery at Jodi-Ann.Powery@rcips.ky or 916-3277. PC Powery can receive links to Instagram content or Whatsapp images and clips at this number.
In addition, a subsequent photo of seized motorbikes is also included.