Police defend officer who took no action as biker performed 'wheelies' in Leeds

Police have defended an officer who took no action to stop a biker performing stunts for around a mile along a busy city centre road.

A marked police car was filmed driving alongside a young man apparently deliberately taunting the officer while carrying out "wheelies" and climbing onto the seat of a motorcycle while travelling at speed on the A58(M) inner ring road in Leeds.

The two-minute video, taken by someone travelling in the car behind shows the man, who was not wearing a helmet, riding a dirt bike, occasionally hands-free, while gesturing at police.

The biker is still being sought by police.

The rider continues to perform stunts just yards from the officer's car before it leaves the carriageway.

Social media users criticised the lack of action after the video went viral on social media.

One Twitter user said: "This is the main road through central Leeds, scandalous. What has happened to policing in the UK?"

Another wrote: "Have the police just given up?"

The rider could be seen taunting the officer.

But West Yorkshire Police said only specially trained officers in suitable vehicles were authorised to pursue dangerous road users.

In a statement the force said: "Any potential pursuit situation must be appropriately assessed with full consideration given to the safety of members of the public, the officers involved and the rider of the motorbike.

"We are still looking into the circumstances of this incident, but we have been able to establish that the officer involved had activated body-worn video to capture footage of the suspect and the manner of driving, before making a deliberate tactical decision to deviate from their route to de-escalate the risks around a situation involving a rider who was clearly already driving dangerously and had a high probability that he would fail to stop."

The force said it was carrying out enquiries to identify the rider and asked anyone who recognises him or who has any information to contact them.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...