Police have taken action against a motorbike rider, as part of an operation to tackle disorder in the Cheviots and surrounding areas of Northumberland.
Officers have been responding to complaints from members of the public following incidents of motorbikes being ridden off-road in areas of the Cheviots, resulting in noise, disruption and anti-social behaviour.
Police say these motorcyclists are also causing damage to sensitive areas including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) land and disrupting the fragile ecology.
Police are concerned that others using the area, especially walkers and cyclists, are being put at risk by motorbike riders. Officers also want to make riders aware that they are committing an offence by riding in these areas without the landowners’ permission.
Neighbourhood officers and Special Constables have been carrying out patrols and have responded to calls about disorder involving a number of off-road motorbikes.
Following this, several were located and one rider was reported by officers for traffic offences and issued with a Section 59 warning. This informs them that if they continue to ride their motorbike in an anti-social or dangerous manner and receive a second warning within 12 months their bike can be seized by police and may be crushed.
Police say that, unless people have permission from the local landowners, the only place they can legitimately ride their bikes off-road in these areas is on the green lanes between Ingram – Prendwick and Ewarty Shank – Alnham. Even then, motorcycle riders must ensure their vehicles are roadworthy and riders have the necessary insurance.
Neighbourhood Inspector Liz Hall said: “This type of anti-social behaviour causes concern to local people and we want to reassure them that we take this issue seriously.
“We’ve had number of calls recently from people concerned about off-road motorbikes being ridden in this areas of Northumberland. Their behaviour has been causing a disturbance to local people and visitors, who were also worried about their safety, when enjoying what they hope is a walk in the peaceful countryside.
“As a result, we’ve increased our neighbourhood patrols in the relevant areas at the key times these incidents have been reported. Officers have also been out talking to people in the area about the problem and making inquiries to find out who has been responsible for the anti-social behaviour.
“Most importantly they are putting the public at risk by riding in these areas and may also compromise their own safety.
“We are also working closely with our partner agencies. I hope people are reassured by the action we’re taking and would ask they continue to help us target offenders by providing us with information on those who ride motorbikes irresponsibly and illegally.
“A description of the bike and rider, any identifying information is very helpful to us, with the times and location of where they have been spotted.
“There are designated areas in the region for off-road motorbike riders to use and I would encourage people to please make use of these sites.
“I’d ask people to contact us with any concerns they have about this or any other issues in their area.”
People can contact police on 101 or via the Northumbria Police website.