DETECTIVES are urging people to report off-road bikers to cut crime caused by them being driven illegally.
Police say there has been a 30 per cent rise in theft of off-road bikes, mopeds and scooters – with some links to nuisance motorbiking plaguing residents – from January to April, compared to the same time period last year.
Now they are encouraging people to take three steps of action by better securing their vehicles to prevent stealing, reporting any anti-social behaviour problems and letting police know of anybody who has an off road bike and may use it in a way that causes nuisance.
“A lot of people might see their next door neighbour’s lad pushing their off-road bike out and think nothing of it,” said Det Ch Insp Steve Pont, of C Division.
“But half a mile away they could be causing a nuisance to others.”
Section 32 of the Road Traffic Act prohibits all motorised vehicles on any common land, moorland, land which is not part of a road, a footpath, bridleway or restricted byeway.
Warning signs on such areas tell riders that if a vehicle is being used in a manner which is causing, or likely to cause, distress or annoyance to people, police have the power to seize the vehicle.
The crime of nuisance motorbiking, more common in summer early evenings, is difficult to detect as complainants can often hear the noise but not see where the bike is. It is classed as anti-social behaviour.
Police have used a helicopter to track bikes before, but say this is not cost effective.
DCI Pont added: “If people report off-road bikes to us we can go round and check the vehicle to make sure it is not stolen, innocently or otherwise.
“We can also advise the owners on what offences they may be committing.
“Nuisance motorbiking gets worse in the summer months which is why we are trying to look at it now.”
To report any sightings of off-road bikes or related nuisance call Derbyshire Constabulary on 0345 123 3333.
l Are there problems with off road biking in your community? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.