More than 130 people have been arrested or charged and almost 100 vehicles and dirt bikes have been impounded, following a year-long police operation targeting dirt bike and illegal street racing activity in South Auckland.
Operation Whakatika saw 88 people arrested or charged over dirt bike activity, while a further 44 arrests or charges were laid in connection to illegal street racing activity, including dangerous driving and sustained loss of traction, Inspector Jared Pirret said in a statement.
The operation, launched in early 2021, saw police stop and inspect nearly 2500 vehicles as they investigated reported offending on the roads by dirt bike riders and illegal street racers.
Their efforts saw 59 dirt bikes and 39 vehicles impounded over 12 months, as well as the recovery of 25 stolen vehicles.
In addition, 169 infringement notices were issued for dirt bike activity, and 579 infringements for illegal street racing.
Meanwhile, 23 vehicles were ‘"pink-stickered" and ordered off the road after being deemed unsafe, while 79 vehicles were "green-stickered" after being deemed non-compliant.
“We know that our community get frustrated at the dangerous and often brazen antics by dirt bike riders and street racers,” Pirret said.
“Often when police are notified at the time to these types of reports, we are not in a position to immediately intervene as it creates significant safety risks for those involved as well as other innocent road users.
“While we may not be able to take immediate action at the time for safety reasons, we want to reassure the community that we do take this offending seriously and we have a team working hard to identify and locate offenders and impound their bikes or vehicles.”
He said the police’s results “speak for themselves”.
“We want this to be a message to dirt bike riders and illegal street racers causing issues on our roads – we will keep investigating those involved, impounding your vehicles and bikes and issuing fines or prosecuting you.”
Pirret said while police are pleased with their results, they continue to receive complaints around dirt bike riders and street racers.
“We will continue to investigate offending on our roads, impound vehicles and prosecute where necessary.”