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CCTV released as police warn children are putting themselves in danger

CCTV of Northampton town centre. Credit: Northamptonshire police

Police say large groups of children who are gathering on bikes in Northampton Town Centre and ignoring road safety are putting themselves in danger.

CCTV has been released showing a group of around 40 children. They are gathering around the drapery, Gold Street and Abington Street, riding on the wrong side of the road, on pavements and doing stunts on their bikes.

Officers want to identify the children involved so they can give them safety advice.

"The behaviour of these youths is irresponsible and dangerous towards members of the public, other road users and themselves. They have little to no road sense at all, they cycle in a large group, totally ignoring the rules of the road, going through red traffic lights, weaving in front of oncoming vehicles, on the wrong side of roads and on pavements. I'm worried that it's only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously hurt, whether it's a pedestrian hit by a cyclist or one of the youths being hit by a vehicle."

– PC Michael Rogers, Local neighbourhood policing team

Police say vehicles have also been damaged by the riders, including taxis which have had wing mirrors kicked off, while buses have had emergency engine cut-out buttons pushed.

The meetings are often organised through social media with those involved aged between 10 and 15 years old.

The released CCTV image was taken on 2nd of January.

"Our team is trying to identify those responsible for this idiotic behaviour, however, when they see officers these youths usually cycle off at speed, avoiding us by riding over areas where we're unable to follow on foot or in vehicles, so we're using the town's CCTV network to help us."

"To any parents or teachers who recognise a child as being involved, please have a serious talk with them about the risks they are taking. The alternative may well be us having to visit the family of someone injured or killed as a result of this kind of behaviour."

– PC Michael Rogers, Local neighbourhood policing team