Tackling off-road bikes menace

Published Tuesday, 28th January 2020

Community safety chiefs in Hartlepool are taking action to curb the illegal use of off-road motorbikes and quad bikes following complaints from local residents.

Roads policing officers from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit are patrolling known problem areas as part of Operation Endurance.

As part of the clampdown, warning signs are being erected under Section 34 of the Road Traffic Act which give police officers the power to immediately confiscate and dispose of any off-road bikes deemed to be causing a nuisance without them having to issue a warning to the rider.

Members of the public are also being asked to support the clampdown by providing vital information on vehicles being used to transport the off-road bikes, who is riding the bikes and where they are being stored.

Anyone with information should call Cleveland Police on 101.

Operation Endurance

Operation Endurance

Although off-road bikes are a town-wide issue, the worst affected areas tend to be the beaches at the Headland and West View, the Manor House Ward and the Fens Estate.

Nicholas Stone, Neighbourhood Safety Team Leader with the Hartlepool Community Safety Team, said: “Some people think that off-road motorbikes and quad bikes are permitted to use certain areas, including the sand dunes along the coast, but that is simply not the case.

“These bikes which often have no road tax or insurance, pose a major threat to public safety, they cause a noise nuisance and they are often responsible for causing serious damage to natural habitats which support numerous species of animals and plants.

“I would urge anyone with information about people illegally using off-road motorbikes and quad bikes to get in touch so that we can act on the intelligence they provide.”

Sergeant Steve Rodgers, also from Hartlepool Community Safety Team, added: “We will be carrying out operations like this regularly and would appeal to anyone who may have information on people riding off-road bikes illegally, or where the bikes may be being stored to get in touch with police.

“Unless you have access to a private piece of land and permission from the landowner these vehicles cannot be used legally.

“Let this be a warning that we will seize bikes being used illegally and it could result in a criminal conviction.”