Essex Police motorcycle officers target popular roads to increase safety

UNDERCOVER motorcycle police officers using hidden cameras are having a “dramatic” impact on reducing the number of bikers who are killed or injured on Essex’s roads.

Since May, Essex Police has been using a new covert motorcycle patrol to infiltrate groups of bikers who ride recklessly on the county’s lanes and highways.

The key biker routes that are being targeted include the B1057 at Finchingfield and the B184 at Great Dunmow and Leaden Roding.

Adam Pipe, senior traffic management officer at Essex Police, said: “We have been targeting particular roads which we know are popular for motorcycle runs.

“Using unmarked bikes and plain clothes officers, who are equipped with video cameras, we are able to infiltrate groups of riders, identify the offenders and then pull them over.

“We will play them back the video and show they have been caught driving dangerously. And where possible we will get them on the Rider Intervention Developing Experience (RIDE) course rather than through the court system.

“They have to pay a significant sum of money to go on a two-day course which we know makes a big difference to people’s riding behaviour.”

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From April to August there have been three bikers who have been killed in Essex and 70 that have been seriously injured. Although the figures are still quite high it is a significant improvement on the previous year when, over the same time period, there were eight fatal accidents and 114 serious injuries.

“The work we are doing now is having a dramatic impact on the number of riders who are killed or seriously injured in Essex,” said Mr Pipe.

“We have communities living on the preferred motorcycle routes that feel vulnerable and don’t believe that the police are taking action against speeding riders,”

“We are giving reassurance to these communities by going out and doing speed checks. But in many circumstances we are finding that it’s the cars that are speeding not the bikes.”

Mr Pipe added that in general the number of all road users who were killed or seriously injured in Essex was down, but said they would not be taking their eye off the ball and had a number of road safety operations planned.

District Cllr Graham Barker welcomed any move by Essex Police to reduce speed on the roads.

“As a GP I have seen what happens when people go too fast. Any operation by the police to make our roads safer is very welcome as educating riders is a valuable option.”