A series of serious accidents involving dangerous and illegal motorcycle riding across Bromley borough has led to police issuing a warning.

There have been three serious accidents involving teenagers riding stolen mopeds or motorcycles and the borough commander has warned it could end in "serious injury or death".

In March two 16-year-old boys suffered head injuries after a crash in Bromley, with one still requiring ongoing care, in April a 14 year old fractured his femur in Mottingham, and last week police were called out to reports of a crash after three stolen motorcycles were racing.

Chief Superintendent Chris Hafford said: “Every day my officers receive reports from concerned local residents of young people, normally boys, on mopeds and motorbikes riding dangerously and engaging in anti-social behaviour.

"This is not only dangerous for the riders, but also for pedestrians and other road users.

“I know that many members of the community are fed up with the dangerous use of mopeds and we have also seen some really serious collisions involving them recently.

“In the last few months this anti-social behaviour has also been coupled with an increase in more serious crime, such as robbery and burglary with stolen mopeds being used as getaway vehicles.

"As a result of this, we have launched ‘Operation Lexington’ to tackle this criminality as well as the anti-social behaviour caused by the misuse of mopeds and motorcycles.

“Operation Lexington is a multi-agency problem solving initiative where we will be working with partners from the London borough of Bromley and housing associations to target those persistent and serious offenders who seek to use mopeds and motorcycles to cause harm to our communities."

Mr Hafford added that residents should report crime to the police and not take "the law into their own hands."

He added: “We are aware of footage circulating on social media footage showing members of the community taking the law into their own hands and knocking riders causing anti-social behaviour off their mopeds.

"Whilst I understand the frustration that people feel, I can’t condone this. Please report those who are using motorbikes inappropriately to us, we can seize the bikes and put offenders before a court where appropriate’.

“What also worries me is that young people are putting themselves in extreme danger because of this behaviour and I don’t want families to go through the trauma of losing a loved one.

“Please, if you are one of these young people, or you are the parent of a young moped or motorcycle rider, these are words of advice that could save your life or the life of a loved one - make sure you ride responsibly and within the law, and wear the correct gear and an approved helmet.

"Make sure that you ride within the law, don’t take risks and ride within your capabilities.”

The law surrounding mopeds includes riders must be 16 years of age or older and hold a provisional license; they must hold a valid Compulsory Basic Training certificate before they can ride on the road and the moped must be registered to DVLA, have a valid tax disc and current MOT certificate.

The provisional license allows them to ride a vehicle up to 125cc but they cannot carry a pillion passenger and the rider must always wear a helmet and display learner plates on the front and rear of the vehicle.