This is how police are tackling the problem of off-road vehicle disorder in Northumberland's countryside

A spate of anti-social behaviour linked to off-road vehicle users has sparked additional police patrols in areas of Northumberland.

Saturday, 15th February 2020, 10:35 am
Updated Sunday, 16th February 2020, 4:58 pm
Police bid to tackle the problem of off-road vehicle disorder in Northumberland's countryside
Police bid to tackle the problem of off-road vehicle disorder in Northumberland's countryside

Operations carried out by officers earlier this month has seen high visibility patrols conducted in Otterburn and Kielder Forest.

Police officers spoke to individuals involved in an attempt to educate them on the dangers of being on restricted roads and promote good practice.

In a bid to help tackle off-road vehicle disorder, police are setting up a multi-agency response with partners including Northumberland County Council, Forestry England, Natural England, Northumberland National Park Authority, Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) and Green Lane Association (GLASS).

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Pam Bridges

Officers are also working closely with the local TRF to educate riders around where is safe and legal to ride as well as deter the minority of riders who are causing disruption and damage to protected forest and moorland areas.

Kielder, Slaley, Redesdale and Allenheads are among the areas being impacted by the disorder.

Neighbourhood Inspector Pam Bridges said: “We want to reassure communities that this sort of disorder will not be tolerated on or off our roads and we will continue to carry out police operations and initiatives to tackle these incidents and ensure those responsible are dealt with accordingly.

“If a member of the public does see any unlawful off-road vehicle disorder, then please note as much information as possible whilst staying safe and avoiding any confrontation.

“Try and get any registration plates, descriptions of vehicles or people involved and specific locations and where possible record any offences.”

Alex MacLennan, public affairs manager for the North East for Forestry England, said the issue is ‘frustrating’.

He added: “Forestry England does support access into the forest through organised events which are delivered with also protecting the landscape measures in place and again this year there are several motorbike events taking place legally but all of those are permitted through detailed planning in advance for sustainable events to take place.”

Officers are reaching out to gamekeepers and land owners to contact police and report any sightings of off-road vehicle disorder.

Anyone with any concerns should contact police via 101 or through the force’s website.