Northumbria Police has teamed up with petrol stations in its territory in a campaign to tackle crime involving motorcycles.

Specialist officers in the Operation Benelli task-force have been reviewing every crime involving a motorcycle, looking for patterns of behaviour and working with neighbourhood officers to target patrols in the right places.

As part of the new initiative, anyone who tries to fill up a fuel can will be asked to provide ID and the reasons for drawing the fuel.

It came after police established that underage teenagers had been drawing fuel for their motorcycles, or asking adults to do it on their behalf.

Sergeant Paul Cook, of the Gateshead East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said the list of those buying fuel is then analysed to try to identify those involved in disorder.

“We carried out a number of enquiries and established those involved in motorcycle disorder had been purchasing fuel in fuel cans,” he said.

“So, we have been working closely with the borough’s petrol stations and have introduced measures to ensure that children cannot purchase fuel in this way.

“Those older teenagers who do purchase fuel will now have to provide their details and that gives us a number of evidential leads when investigating disorder.

“That list will also provide us with an opportunity to identify any other unusual patterns of behaviour and ensure the fuel has been purchased for a legitimate reason.

“By working with local businesses, and our Operation Benelli team, we are already seeing results and have reduced motorcycle disorder in Gateshead.

“That work will continue and we hope our efforts will reassure residents in our region that we are committed to targeting individuals who make your life a misery.”

Posters will be placed in petrol stations taking part in the scheme that notify customers about the requirements if purchasing fuel in a fuel can.

Customers are not legally obliged to provide details but businesses taking part in the scheme are likely to refuse service to those who choose not to comply.