Representatives of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) attended a Holyrood Roundtable meeting on motorcycle theft. The roundtable meeting, arranged by MSP Daniel Johnson, was attended by MAG, Police Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council, local business owners, and cross-party MSPs.
Following the extended epidemic of motorcycle theft and related criminality in Edinburgh, MAG members engaged with Daniel Johnson MSP and others calling for greater action on the issue. Police Scotland responded with Operation Soteria. Enforcement activities between June and September resulted in 36 arrests, 185 charges for a variety of offences, and the recovery of 131 motorcycles, with a total value in excess of £600,000.
Daniel Johnson MSP, commented:
“Motorcycle theft and motorcycle-enabled crime is a growing problem in our capital city. It’s crucial that we treat this issue seriously and put a coordinated system in place that helps tackle it. I hope that today’s roundtable discussion, with representatives from the Motorcycle Action Group, Police Scotland, Edinburgh Council and local businesses, was the first step to ensuring motorcyclists who live in Edinburgh, but also travel to and through Edinburgh, feel confident that their motorcycles are secure in our city. I look forward to working with different groups on this issue and helping to facilitate a targeted solution that works in the long-term.”
The discussion covered a broad range of topics. Following the meeting Cllr Scott Arthur, Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee at The City of Edinburgh Council, Tweeted:
“Many thanks to @djohnsonmsp for hosting a meeting on motorcycle thefts in Edinburgh. I was quite shocked to hear details of some quite brazen thefts of motorcycles in Edinburgh.
This has had a huge impact on Edinburgh’s biker community. Given the seriousness of the situation, I was happy to give The @MAGUKCentral an assurance that I would request a review of secure motorcycle parking in Edinburgh.”
Local MAG member, Olly Bassi, was instrumental in the engagement that led to the roundtable meeting. He commented:
“We as a biking community are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to help reduce the numbers of riders experiencing the heartache and financial pain of being a victim of theft. The increasing reports of violent robberies and bike jackings in the city have been of particular concern, and we want to prevent further riders being injured or worse. There is a feeling that changes to police pursuit policy and new guidelines from the Scottish Sentencing Council have contributed to this situation, so we hope for changes in these areas.”
MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said:
“I was pleased to take part in this important meeting. There was much ground covered and some tangible action points coming from the meeting. We know the issue will not be solved easily, but I am glad to report that the need is recognised and the will to get results is there.”
MAG will be engaging further with the various stakeholders, seeking solutions and ensuring that action points are seen through to completion.