Operation to stop off-road bikes on dunes and beaches

Signage is going up as part of Operation Scrambler.
Signage is going up as part of Operation Scrambler.

Action is being taken to stop off-road motorbikes and quad bikes from riding on sand dunes and beaches along the Northumberland coast.

Operation Scrambler is a joint partnership between Northumbria Police, Northumberland County Council and the National Trust, focusing on the area between Alnmouth and Cresswell.

Cresswell beach by Andy Perry

Cresswell beach by Andy Perry

Some of this land is owned by the council, while other parts belong to the National Trust.

Sergeant Ian Forster, of the Rural Morpeth and Amble neighbourhood policing team, said: “Riding motorbikes and quad bikes in this area causes damage to these natural habitats and huge annoyance to other members of the public who have come for a nice day out.

“It is an offence to ride a motorbike or quad bike on land without the landowner’s permission. Further signage is being put up showing that riding motorbikes and quad bikes is prohibited.”

Officers from Amble, Morpeth and Ashington neighbourhood policing teams will be making extra patrols along the coastal area.

When people are caught, they will be issued with a Section 59 warning, which is part of the Police Reform Act of 2002. Sgt Forster added: “Where a person is driving a car or riding a motorbike off-road and is causing alarm, harassment or distress to members of the public they can be issued with a warning by police.

“If the same person or same vehicle is caught for a second time in similar circumstances by police then they will have their vehicle seized and taken away. The owner will then have to pay to get the vehicle back and if they can not afford it then the vehicle can be crushed.”

Anyone who sees motorbikes or quad bikes being unloaded or ridden in the sand dunes and beaches between Alnmouth and Cresswell is encouraged to report it, via 101.