Wednesday 13 December 2017

Gangs of bikers pelting fireworks cause Halloween chaos for emergency services

A large group of bikers and quad bikers causing chaos on Kirkstall Road in Leeds Credit: Jack Hurley (@loudribs)/PA Wire
A large group of bikers and quad bikers causing chaos on Kirkstall Road in Leeds Credit: Jack Hurley (@loudribs)/PA Wire
A large group of bikers and quad bikers causing chaos on Kirkstall Road in Leeds Credit: Jack Hurley (@loudribs)/PA Wire
A large group of bikers and quad bikers causing chaos on Kirkstall Road in Leeds Credit: Stephen of Leeds/PA Wire
A large group of bikers and quad bikers causing chaos on Kirkstall Road in Leeds Credit: Jack Hurley (@loudribs)/PA Wire

Sam Blewett and Sally Wardle

Gangs of bikers and youths pelting fireworks caused Halloween chaos for emergency services across the country.

More than 200 motorcyclists gathered for a "Halloween ride out" in Solihull and Birmingham, while in Leeds a group of more than 50 racing off-road motorcycles and quad bikes brought Kirkstall Road to a standstill.

Police also faced trouble as fireworks were thrown at them in two separate attacks caught on video, with one officer narrowly avoiding being hit by an explosive in Tottenham, north London, the Metropolitan Police said.

Officers in Birmingham also tweeted footage of one of their vans being hit by a volley of fireworks.

There were similar scenes in Coalisland as fire crews came under attack from youths with fireworks, with hostile crowds forcing them to withdraw from incidents in Rostrevor and Newry, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said.

At least seven people were arrested and 10 motorcycles seized following the incident in Birmingham, West Midlands Police said.

The riders, many of whom were wearing face masks, caused "chaos" as they darted between traffic, jumped red lights and performed stunts on busy main roads.

At one point a police van came under attack, while the fire service also reported that a group of bikers were stopping them from responding to an emergency call.

West Midlands Police Chief Inspector Jack Hadley described it as "outrageous" and "totally unacceptable".

"This wasn't a rally of bike enthusiasts - this was loutish, criminal behaviour," he said.

"Bikers were riding without lights, at speed, dangerously, pulling wheelies in the street, mounting pavements and damaging vehicles."

Press Association

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