PSNI Back Initiative For Safe And Appropriate Use Of Off-Road Bikes

The PSNI has backed a new initiative has been launched to educate young people on the safe and appropriate way to ride off-road motorcycles.

The Motorcycle Awareness Project (MAP) youth education programme got under way earlier this month and is a six-week initiative developed to help reduce the anti-social behaviour associated with these bikes in the community while improving road safety.

Participants - invited to the programme by local PSNI officers - are young people involved or viewed as likely to become involved in anti-social behaviour involving off-road motorcycles. Some participants are also motorcycle enthusiasts that just don't have the facilities that they need in their local area. They will be given twelve 4 hour sessions over a six week period on motorbikes specially-adapted to reduce noise.

It is hoped this project will reduce anti-social behaviour and other issues by showing the young people how to use these vehicles safely and responsibly. This includes the use of correct protective equipment and emphasising the need to use these bikes in the appropriate areas with permissions.

Constable Chris Boyd from the Neighbourhood Policing Team, who has been influential in bringing the scheme to the Newtownabbey area, said: "The aim of this project is to give our young people an opportunity to be professionally taught how to use these vehicles in a safe and controlled environment. They will likely bring this knowledge back to their friends and family while adopting a more sensible and lawful attitude towards riding these bikes.

"It is hoped that the young people will go on and encourage their peers with a view to getting involved in this fantastic sport at a competitive level.
News Image
"I became aware of the pilot scheme in Craigavon and, after contacting Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council for support, I attended the project along with a local councillor to see this in action.

"We found the participants were engaged, enthusiastic and the skills that they learned over the weeks were being applied as if they had been doing this for years. I thought this would be something that could benefit many young people in our area.

"The programme aims to promote understanding of the dangers associated with off-road motorcycling and teach the fundamental skills needed to ride safely.

"The programme focuses on early intervention for young people who are involved, or likely to become involved in, unsafe riding of these bikes with participants to be identified by the PSNI.

"The course itself begins with a basic introduction to off-road motorcycling, safety checks, correct kit and equipment and explains the correct workings of the bike. A focus on technique follows which gives the young people not only the confidence but the skills and knowledge to move on to the track itself. The manner in which the teaching takes place is geared at a level according to their needs. As the course develops the participants are taught first aid, further bike maintenance and riding technique. As the skill level and confidence on the bikes increase, the participants gradually work up to more powerful bikes."

Newtownabbey Neighbourhood Policing Team, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council, Department of Justice, Northern Ireland Housing Executive & Antrim & Newtownabbey Policing & Community Safety Partnership have all contributed to funding, planning and the delivery of this project.

Hailing the joint initiative as "very worthwhile", Chair of Antrim and Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), Councillor Julie Gilmour said: "Reducing anti-social behaviour is one of our main priorities and this project aims to achieve that by providing young people with the knowledge and skills that will help them become more responsible when using these vehicles."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 June 2022
Three Arrested During Drug Searches In Belfast And Newtownabbey
Detectives from the PSNI's Organised Crime Unit have carried out a series of search operation in east Belfast and Newtownabbey, Two men, aged 38 and 34, and a woman, aged 23, were arrested following the searches, with a quantity of Class B drugs seized, along with other items, including a quantity of cash and weapons.
19 November 2020
13.2% Of NI Young People Not In Education, Employment Or Training
An estimated 26,000 young people aged 16-24 in Northern Ireland were not in education, employment or training (NEET) between July and September 2020, according to the latest statistics. The figures is the equivalent to 13.2% of all those aged 16-24 years, and shows that the NI number is higher that the UK average of 12.4%.
25 February 2022
Estimated 20,000 Young People Not In Education Or Work
An estimated 20,000 young people in Northern Ireland who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the last three months to December 2021. The Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA) has published the latest statistics on NEET young people.
13 November 2020
New Report Published On Young People's Mental Health
A new mental health survey has revealed a 'slight' increase in the number of young people with "concerns or worries about their mental health".
08 October 2021
Use Of Spit And Bite Guards On Children And Young People Should Be Prohibited
The use of spit and bite guards by the PSNI on children and young people should be prohibited, according to the Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson. She has published a report on her six month review of the deployment of Spit and Bite Guards by PSNI officers.