Dirt bikes have been making headlines in Cayman in recent weeks, with police cracking down on those who ride the bikes illegally.
It has left a community of dirt bikers who abide by the law feeling targeted by police and society.
Cayman’s 27 Philipp Richter spoke with a young dirt bike rider about his concerns.
15-year-old Marc-Anthony Parchmond stood up and told the panel at last week’s youth development conference, his views on the dirt bike situation.
“I understand with the wheelin’ on the road, I understand some of that, but if you look at it, this is the only thing that brings young people together in the Cayman Islands,” said dirt bike rider, Marc Parchmond.
Jamaica’s assistant police commissioner Gary Welch, A key-note speaker at the conference, responded that he supports the culture, as long as it does not jeopardize the public’s safety
“what we want to do is to encourage them to do it in a safe way without causing disorder or alarm to other members of the public,” said Assistant Commissioner of Jamaica’s Police Force, Gary Welch.
Mr Parchmond says the dangerous driving of a few is giving all dirt bikers a bad name
“Some stories when you hear people get lick off bikes, but that’s sometimes, they are fooling around in the streets but we can’t really tell them what to do or what not to do, they have to learn from their own mistakes,” Mr. Parchmond said.
He says police are giving riders a hard time, even when they’re abiding by the law and riding on back roads.
“But police are making it very hard for us to ride nowadays ’cause of this dirt bike issue or so they call it.” When asked if he and his friends will stop riding bikes due to the pressure of the law, Mr. Parchmond had this to say, “We went too far in this bike life to stop now, we dropped too much times to stop now, we did too much to stop now, so what is the sense of us stopping, I know I’m not going to stop riding, I know no body else who rides dirt bikes is going to stop riding.”
He hopes one day a track will open to help solve the problem.
A few weeks ago police confiscated five dirt bikes they say were being operated illegally.