‘THEY are not motorcyclists.’

That’s the view of one of Southampton’s leading figures within the motorcycling community after a spate of incidents involving riders causing mayhem across the city.

Last week, The Daily Echo told how Hampshire Constabulary had cracked down on the bikers.

Officers have brought action against 38 riders, while also seizing 13 motorcycles and recovering five stolen bikes and returning them to their owners within the last 12 months.

The bikers have been causing problems for residents for a number of years and in some instances have left them fearing for their safety.

And now members of the motorcycling community have praised the police’s work in tracking down the offenders.

Mark Holman, co-founder of Southampton Bike Night, has criticised people for calling the bikers motorcyclists but says officers are trying their best to stop them from causing havoc across the city.

He says they are not members of the motorcycling circle but “youngsters who steal and drive recklessly”.

He told the Daily Echo: “Those people who abuse the roads and have no respect for safety have absolutely nothing to do with motorcyclists.

“We are one ride away from an innocent bystander being killed from their actions and this is not what we as a community do.

“They are nothing to us.

“They are anti-social and are not people who have spent time trying to pass tests and then buy the gear on top of that.

“They just steal the bikes and then burn them.”

Hampshire Constabulary is continuing its crackdown on the young riders.

It has appealed for information about various bikers causing problems in Redbridge, Millbrook and Lordshill.

Last month officers tried to identify two riders who caused significant damage to Mansel Park and its football pitch.

Meanwhile a moped was ridden along the wrong way up Lordswood Road, close to the junction with Hill Lane, on the same day.

Mr Holman added: “The problem with these youngsters is they find it easy to steal the bikes and it is something for them to do to pass the time.”