Dad backs Labour’s police plans after teen’s motorcycle stolen and smashed up

The dad of a teenager whose motorbike was stolen and dumped said he “one million percent” backed Keir Starmer ’s plans to crack down on antisocial behaviour.

Brian Johnson, 56, who lives in Essex, said his 16-year-old “put all his effort into raising some money” by doing paper rounds to save up for a bike to go to and from college. But within a few weeks somebody stole the motorbike, with the thief taunting Mr Johnson as he rode up and down the road in front of him.

“I’m thinking: Is this for real? That’s my son’s bike. It’s got his name across the bike,” he said. “So I called the police. The police said: ‘We can’t attend. There’s no officers available to attend.’”

Brian Johnson said his family have suffered from antisocial behaviour

Brian Johnson said his family have suffered from antisocial behaviour
Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

Mr Johnson attempted to follow the thief in his car and then chase him on foot before the criminal got away with the motorbike. “We found it a week later all smashed up… My son, he tried, but it was beyond repair,” Mr Johnson said.

After talking to Mr Starmer about his story, he said hearing about the Labour leader’s experience as Director of Public Prosecutions made him support Labour’s plans to tackle crime even more. “This is a guy who’s not just come through with a silver spoon sort of thing. He’s actually been there and done it and he knows what he’s talking about,” he said.

“Now it’s time for a change because what this Government is doing – we’re a sinking ship.” Asked if he welcomed Labour’s plans to put 13,000 more police officers and community support officers on the streets, Mr Johnson responded: “A million percent.”

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper described Mr Johnson’s situation as a “total nightmare”. “The feeling people have now is that something goes wrong in their lives, you have crimes being committed, no one comes and nothing is done,” she said.

She spoke about experiencing “intimidating behaviour’ when she was in Bristol during the campaign for last month’s local elections. “While we were doing the interviews on the streets, there was an off-road biker with a balaclava who just kept circling round and round,” she said. “It was absolutely intimidating. The cameraman felt intimidated. So for the residents who have got this going on the whole time, it must be a total nightmare.”

Police will be given new powers to scrap noisy dirt and quad bikes within 48 hours, with tougher on-the-spot fines issued to offenders, under a Labour government.