Reports of illegal use of off-road bikes in Ashfield have reduced by half since the launch of an ongoing operation, say police.
Operation Incalculability has been using a mix of education and enforcement to tackle this issue, commonly identified by communities as their “number one priority”.
Between 30 July and 14 September this year the force received 15 reports relating to the anti-social use of off-road bikes in the Ashfield district compared to 37 reports for the same period in 2016.
This amounts to a 59 per cent decrease in the number of reported incidents over this six-week period.
Sergeant Carl Holland, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “These results show that we’re having a positive impact which marries with reports from a recent community meeting I attended where residents said they felt the situation was better too.
“The number one concern raised by residents at community meetings I’ve attended has been nuisance off-road bikes. This issue is prevalent during the whole year.
“We need more residents to help us clamp down on off-road bikes by reporting incidents to us. If anyone has any information about people using off-road bikes then please call us on 101.
“I’d like to thank the public for its support. We understand the frustration that these off-road bikes cause within our community and we will continue our efforts, in partnership with landowners, to crack down on this anti-social behaviour.”
Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “These bikes are not just a noisy nuisance, they can also pose a very real threat of danger to any member of the public in the vicinity and indeed the riders themselves.
“This crackdown is really welcomed as I know how much concern irresponsible use of such bikes causes to the communities affected by them.
“The operation sends a clear message that this type of behaviour will not be overlooked. I hope that members of the public will support the police by giving them about off-road bike usage. It really makes a difference.”
Councillor Nicolle Ndiweni, Ashfield District Council’s portfolio holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: “We’re aware that off road bikers can be a nuisance to residents in Ashfield. This is not only riding on private land without permission, but also riding dangerously on residential roads.
“Operation Incalculability is sending out a clear message that behaviour like this won’t be tolerated. Ashfield District Council is working closely with Nottinghamshire Police on this issue and urges residents to call 101 and report incidents as they happen.”
During the first weekend of Operation Incalculability, in August, officers visited numerous locations including Annesley Woods where they disrupted and displaced up to 25 motorcycles and quads.
Intelligence was gathered and, as the video clip shows, while the Off Road Team was in the woods it issued a warning to one of the remaining riders.
Other action which has been taken by officers during this ongoing operation has included issuing warning notices and traffic offence reports to offending riders, intelligence gathering and engaging with young riders and parents and giving advice.
On Sunday (September 10, 2017) police charged a man with driving while disqualified and having no insurance, also seizing his motorbike.
Officers also issued another rider with a traffic offence report (TOR) for driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and having an illegal number plate.
Operation Incalculability is ongoing but, following “much public reaction” to the initiative, police say they want to clear up any misconceptions regarding the use of off-road motorbikes and quad bikes and make people aware of some key facts.
For more information and guidance about legal requirements of owning and using these vehicles please visit https://goo.gl/dpmFHD
Details of places and facilities where off-road bikes can be ridden safely and legally in the Nottinghamshire area can be found online.
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