`

Joint operation puts the brakes on illegal off-road biking

editorial image

Notts Police have crushed off road bikes being ridden illegally as part of a Force-wide clamp down.

Their destruction comes as the Force warns other irresponsible owners and riders around the county that their bikes will be seized and could ultimately be crushed if they persistently break the law.

The bikes were seized from their owners for having no insurance as part of Operation Jericho - an ongoing multi-agency initiative in the Newark and Sherwood area targeting the illegal use of off-road motorbikes, quad bikes and other nuisance vehicles on private or public land.

It’s just one of a number of initiatives launched as part of Force’s ongoing drive to tackle the issue which has blighted communities across the county.

As well facing prosecution and having their vehicles seized and potentially destroyed, riders persistently committing anti-social behaviour are being warned they could face further consequences.

These could include, but are not limited to:

* Being issued with a Section 59 Warning Notice

* Being issued with a Community Protection Notice

* Being issued with a Noise Abatement Notice

* Being made subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order

* Being issued with a Council House Possession Notice

Nottinghamshire Police has reassured residents it will utilise all of its powers to clamp down on the problem.

High visibility patrols and dedicated operations will continue to run to address the issue and take action.

Days of action carried out as part of Operation Jericho have resulted in a number of vehicles being seized and well as warning notices and directions to leave areas being issued.

Sergeant Mike Taylor, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Aside from being dangerous, off-road bikes cause misery within communities and is one of the issues that residents have told us causes them the greatest concern.

“For most of the time these vehicles will be used illegally and people may not realise this.

“Bikes can only be ridden on private land with the landowner’s permission. This would include waste land which is owned by someone.

“We hope the crushing of these bikes sends out a clear message that once we’ve identified offenders we will utilise all of our powers to take action which could ultimately end up with their bikes being crushed.

“We also need to educate and inform parents, who may be thinking about buying such machines for their children, of the potential dangers and lack of legal opportunities to actually use them.

“I hope the ongoing action we’re taking to tackle the illegal and anti-social use of these vehicles reassures our local residents that we are listening to their concerns and taking them seriously. We will be continuing our efforts, working with our partners, to crack down on this anti-social behaviour.

“We need more members of the public to help us reduce nuisance off-road biking by reporting incidents to us. If anyone has any information about people using off-road bikes then please call us on 101.”

Terry Bailey is an anti-social behaviour officer at Newark and Sherwood District Council, one of the Force’s lead partners on Operation Jericho.

He said: “This is not just a police matter, it’s a community issue. We’re all working together to tackle this issue and we will take immediate and severe action against offenders.

“Together with our housing partners, people need to realise that by committing anti-social behaviour they could also face other consequences. This could include action for a breach of their council tenancy agreements, which may result in them losing their home.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has vowed to prioritise the issue of illegal off-roading in the county over the next 12 months, alongside other crime and disorder problems which cause misery to Nottinghamshire communities.

He’s invited community groups across Nottinghamshire to bid for a share of £250,000 to help cut crime and keep people at risk of offending on the right path.

His Community Safety Fund for 2018/19 will be invested into grassroots projects that help people stay safe and recover from their problems.

The deadline for applications has now passed. Funding will be allocated for the financial year 2018-2019.

Mr Tipping said: “We want to address some of the persistent issues which blight the lives of ordinary people. One of those is illegal off-road biking and we are working very closely with the Force to support the enforcement work put in place to tackle this problem.”

If you’re riding your off-road vehicle on a road you must have/do the following:

* Have a valid MOT certificate if the vehicle is more than three-years-old

* Register your quad bike with the DVLA, make sure your vehicle is taxed and has front and rear number plates

* Have a full car licence or a category B1 licence if it was issued before January 1997

* Have a minimum of third party insurance to drive a quad bike on the road

Not everyone using off-road motorbikes does so illegally and there are a number of specialist sites where they can be ridden legally.

Details of places and facilities where off-road bikes can be ridden safely and legally in the Nottinghamshire area can be found online.