A police response to anti-social behaviour complaints about youths 'bike storming' and skating in London's Square Mile has played down the issue, concluding that the number of reports are low, and that the City is a safer place for youths to take part in their hobbies in a relatively safe environment.
In the report, under the subject 'Responses to Anti-Social Behaviour in the City of London', points 20 through to 27 refer to Skateboarding and ‘Bike Storming’. It says the City of London Corporation and City Police have been working closely to 'proportionately respond' to reports of anti-social behaviour with regards to bike storming and skateboarding; however, it says the number of reports are low:
"Several options have been explored by partners to holistically mitigate the issue", says the report. "However, many of proposed solutions have been compounded by data from the City Police, which indicates that the actual number of reports to the Police regarding ASB [anti-social behaviour] and such activities is very low.
"Additionally, if there is ASB displayed with the skateboarding and cycling activities the age range of many of those 5 participating in those activities limit the use of low-level ASB enforcement powers, such as Community Protection Warnings and Notices and subsequently displacing the issue."
Long-term solutions are suggested to allow youths to cycle and skate in a specific area of the City "to avoid noise complaints"; a skate park in the Square Mile is one of the options being explored.
The report concludes: "We are exploring which are the most effective options to address this issue and aim to provide the best possible outcome for both residents and young people.
"We know young people come to the City for a number of reasons and one of them is that the City is a safer place to spend time in comparison to other London boroughs. As such, children and young people can visit the City to play with a significantly reduced risk of becoming involved in serious criminal activities, both as victims and perpetrators. Rather, they can spend their time taking part in an active hobby which promotes exercise, with many of them considering it a sport."
Following small number of complaints about youths skateboarding and "bike storming" in the City of London, a thoughtful response https://t.co/jzgNtcG8qn by @cityoflondon at the Police Board 22 June https://t.co/788pEMqDi7
The City provides a safe environment to burn off energy. pic.twitter.com/NNiZhr19My
— always last (@lastnotlost) June 18, 2021
The response was shared numerous times on social media, with @lastnotlost commenting: "The City provides a safe environment to burn off energy."
Paul Allen added: "Whenever I see Bike Stormz I find it heart warming rather than threatening. A lovely response from the authorities."
'Bike storming' commonly refers to cyclists, often youths, riding bmx and mountain bikes in a large group together. As we've previously reported, the official 'BikeStormz' events are described as "the biggest underground youth movement in the UK" by its creators, with the video above recorded at the 2020 edition. Launched in 2015, the defining message is ‘Knives Down, Bikes Up’, and organisers say they want to turn the riding style – one-handed wheelies, skids and numerous others tricks performed in motion – into a sport in its own right.
BikeStormz 2021 is set to take place on 10th July, and those interested in joining can register on the BikeStormz website. Under 18's must have parental consent to participate.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.