The Hainton Heneage Community Team are urging people not to risk injuring themselves and members of the community or falling foul of the law when using off-road motorbikes.
There is no doubt that using off-road motorbikes can be a popular pastime, however, these vehicles can also be used in a dangerous, noisy and anti-social way, generating lots of complaints to police which has been the case in the Weelsby Wood area.
Sergeant Will Harrison from the Community Policing Team said: “We are receiving regular calls from concerned members of the public about off-road motorbikes using the woods with no regard for other people walking dogs or families enjoying the area. In addition it is causing damage to the area affecting the future enjoyment of others.
“Due to these concerns we have identified the issue as a local priority and are regularly patrolling the woods at peak times to stop and deal with those illegally using it as a race track and where appropriate seizing vehicles and prosecuting those involved.
“Our priority will always be policing the things that cause our community the most problems and at this time it is the inappropriate and anti-social use of off road motor motorbike in this area.”
So, when is it legal to ride an off road motorbike? It is only legal to ride an off road motorbike on private land with the land owner’s permission. Areas owned by the council, such as parks, play areas and pavements, are not classed as private land.
Often when off road motorbikes are used in public places they create danger for both the rider of the bike and the people around. We have had reports of people riding the bikes at high speed on narrow tracks through wooded areas causing problems for people walking their dogs or just generally enjoying the area.
Nationally the ambulance service have also had reports of young people injured after using the bikes without any safety equipment. These bikes are motor vehicles and therefore safety measures must be taken to protect the rider when using them.
Parents are being urged to think about where children are and what they are doing.
Sergeant Harrison added: “In many cases we catch children and young people on these bikes in the woods. I’d therefore urge parents of these young people to ensure their children are using the bikes appropriately and in the right areas. Failure to do so could result in the expensive machines being seized, risk huge fines or even a court appearances - but more importantly your loved one being seriously injured.”
“To tackle to problem we need the public to be our eyes and ears by reporting any information about off road motorbikes causing a nuisance or being used unsafely on 101 – if possible with information about who is riding the bike, what type of bike it is and where the bike is being ridden. Alternatively you can call the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
For more information about the law download the following leaflet.