Councillor’s ‘gangland culture’ fears after masked bikers intimidate Littlehampton residents

Councillor Ian Buckland. Photo by Derek Martin Photography
Councillor Ian Buckland. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

A councillor has expressed concern of growing ‘gangland culture’ after reports of bikers wearing masks intimidating residents in Littlehampton.

From August 6 to Sunday, police forces across the country were working to cut down speeding and raise awareness of its potential dangers in a Europe-wide campaign co-ordinated by the European Traffic Police Network.

During the operation, officers used a number of speed detection methods across all types of road.

A similar Tispol operation in April and August last year saw more than 1,237,445 detections in 28 countries across Europe.

The news attracted a lot of attention on the Gazette Facebook page, with dozens of comments from residents fed up of speeding vehicles.

Kerrie Lane said Clun Road in Wick was a particular problem, claiming she saw motorcyclists wearing no helmets doing 60 miles per hour.

Arun District Councillor Ian Buckland said he was aware the situation was ‘driving people mad’, with witnesses coming to him about bikers covering their faces with decorated bandanas driving anti-socially. He said: “I do feel we are going down the route of intimidation and gangland culture.”

He urged residents to call 101 and report specific incidents to the police, and call Arun District Council’s anti-social behaviour team. This would help build evidence which could be used to argue for speed reduction schemes and a greater police presence in problem areas, Mr Buckland explained.

He said: “I’m very supportive of the community and I fully understand what they are saying. I need them to stand behind me so I can support them.”

Christine Bradley knew where she would want to see officers targeting speeding drivers.

She said: “Clun Road would be a good place to start. You can hear the cars long before you see them speed past. Same with the motorbikes. Extremely dangerous.”

Paul Whelan said he passed his bike test in 1987 and what he saw around Wick ‘shocked him’, with pit and quad bikes ‘raging around the streets unchecked’ and on one occasion, a super bike rider with a woman on the back ‘riding at ridiculous speeds around the streets’.

Speaking last week, he said: “I’m amazed we didn’t see a serious accident this weekend.

“I’ve not seen a police car in Clun Road for a week!”

Clare Barclay said Ash Lane in Rustington was a speeding hotspot, with cars breaking the speed limit until 3am in the morning.

She said it was ‘only a matter of time until there is a fatality’.

Carli Bird said Worthing Road was also an issue, and Macaela Fuller said Lyminster Road was a ‘nightmare’ for speeding.