Tackling the Off-Road Menace
Quad bikes and motorcycles are cutting up too many of our community spaces. The reckless riders have no thought to the damage they cause. They often destroy land and devastate resident’s efforts to maintain beautiful community spaces.
As your Police and Crime Commissioner, dealing with this off-road vandalism will be one of my priorities. I will continue to support our police targeting the illegal use of off-road vehicles. I will provide them with the resources necessary to catch these offenders. When their intelligence identifies who they are, I will support the police in prosecuting offenders – and destroying their vehicles.
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) and off-road motorbikes
Over the last few months, I have been contacted by angry local residents and elected members calling for action. The anti-social riders of these illegally ridden, dangerous and noisy bikes must be challenged.
Residents have shared their pictures and videos with me. They highlight the costly trail of damage and destruction that have scarred too many community spaces. Football fields torn up; village greens pitted with deep tyre ruts and, in one instance, deep tyre tracks scarred a Remembrance Garden. It is happening to communities across County Durham and Darlington and it must be stopped.
Many of these bikes are in a dangerous and un-roadworthy condition. As well as the damage they cause, these reckless riders can put lives at risk: their own and as well as other peoples’. We know that in some cases, playing children were put at risk as well.
It is illegal to ride any motorbike in public open spaces and Council land such as parks, play areas and on pavements. Thankfully many residents are reporting these issues to the police. This local intelligence and evidence is enabling officers to pursue and prosecute those responsible.
How is Durham Constabulary dealing with the issue?
In 2017, under Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner the late Ron Hogg, Durham Constabulary established Operation Endurance to tackle the issue.
They found that 64% of reports about off road vehicles were antisocial nuisance, 34% environmental and 2% personal. The majority of those responsible were aged between 13-19. The highest number of incidents were reported in Darlington, Peterlee, Newton Aycliffe, Chester-le-Street, Durham and Bishop Auckland.
In their first 2 years they reduced off-road anti-social behaviour by 26.6%, saving the force £159,000. Partner and community feedback has been very positive.
I strongly support the action taken by Durham Constabulary and Operation Endurance to pursue those responsible and ultimately seizing and crushing the vehicles of persistent offenders. As your Police and Crime Commissioner I will give the police my total support in ridding our communities of this anti-social menace.
Are off road motorbikes causing a nuisance in your neighbourhood? Do you have any information about the use of these vehicles, where they’re being ridden and who by?
- Call your local police on 101.
- If you want to provide information anonymously, contact the independent crimefighting charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Vehicle and Rider information that can help police may include:
What does the law say?
For more information on the law around off-road motorbikes, please visit the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/highway-code-road-safety