Petition for Harlow Council to retract injunction which ‘criminalises law abiding motorcyclists’ gaining support

Politics / Thu 26th May 2016 am31 08:21am

By Eric White

A PETITION for Harlow Council to retract an injunction on unauthorised ride outs is gaining quick support.

Yesterday (25th May), Your Harlow reported how Harlow Council have apologised to the wider biking community after receiving a number of concerns and questions in response to the injunction.

Picture from the petition page.

Picture from the petition page.

It is argued by those behind the petition, which was set up three days ago and has 3,095 signatures at the time of writing, that the injunction ‘criminalises’ law abiding motorcyclists in Harlow.

Kevin Bilton, Harlow, set up the petition page, which is entitled: ‘Harlow Council – retract your injunction which criminalises law abiding Motorcyclists’.

The page reads: “Motorcyclists and other motorised vehicle drivers in Harlow are potentially being criminalised by the new injunction taken out by Harlow Council banning them from riding in groups of 2 or more, riding in convoy or taking part in unauthorised ride outs.

“This draconian injunction is offensive to bikers who ride legally and respectfully and is ill thought out in its implementation.  This injunction will impact upon law abiding riders including groups of friends, motorcycle clubs and charity events.

 “The police already have the power to stop any illegal activities taking place using existing laws and the public are concerned that this injunction will be misused to punish riders who ride within the law.

“The injunction bans groups of two or more people from taking part in unauthorised ride outs between 10am and 12midnight on any public land or public highway in Harlow. It covers ride outs involving both motor cycles and motor vehicles. Anyone breaking the injunction would be in contempt of court and may be sent to prison.”

However, Harlow Council issued the following yesterday, in which they apologised for the anger and upset in the wider biking community caused by the injunction:

“Harlow Council is very sorry that this issue has upset and angered the wider biking community. This was never our intention and we hope the below helps explain the reasons for applying for the injunction and who it is ultimately targeted at.

“Harlow Council and Essex Police wants to make it clear that anyone riding bikes lawfully in Harlow on the road to either meet up with friends, including driving in a convoy; drive through the town; learn to ride or teach others, or take part in a charity event, will not be served with the injunction. This is the same for anyone driving a motor vehicle.

“Concerns are being raised by Harlow residents about persistent unauthorised gatherings causing a nuisance and antisocial behaviour, and the Council, supported by the Police, had to listen and act.

“The injunction will therefore only be served and enforced on people who are gathering and causing a nuisance and carrying out antisocial behaviour.

“The injunction does not distract from the Police’s existing powers. It is simply one of a number of measures in place to deal with this specific problem being experienced in Harlow.”


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