Here’s why a police aeroplane is circling the skies above Stoke-on-Trent right now


A police aeroplane is circling the skies above Stoke-on-Trent as part of an operation to crackdown on nuisance bikers.

Dozens of StokeonTrentLive readers have messaged in to say they have spotted the blue and yellow plane above the Longton and Meir areas.

Now Staffordshire Police have confirmed the plane has been deployed as part of Operation Lightning.

A spokesman said: “The plane is on the look out for nuisance bikers. We’ve received reports of issues in the Meir Hay area. The reason onlookers will have seen it circling is that they are tracking where a biker goes.

“It is a safer way of tracking the bikers. It will follow where they go and they will then receive a knock on the door later today.”

The police plane is circling the south of Stoke-on-Trent

One resident said: “I spotted a small plane  doing loops over Longton. It’s only a small two propeller plane. It’s done about 12 circuits over Longton.”

Another added: “It’s been doing it for over an hour. It was getting lower and lower and was starting to scare us. It’s not something you usually see in Stoke-on-Trent.”

And a third said: “It’s a police aeroplane. It’s been circling the Ashwood area of Longton.”

Operation Lightning is part of a national campaign focusing on speeding in a bid to reduce the number of fatalities and casualties on the country’s roads.

Chief Inspector Mat Derrick, who heads Staffordshire Police’s roads policing unit, said: “We hope that this on-going work as part of Operation Lightning will lead to a reduction in the number of reported incidents of illegal off-road motorbikes being ridden in a poor and anti-social manner across Staffordshire, and offer reassurance to the local communities affected.”





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