Nuisance riders: police see rise in incidents involving off-road vehicles in South Tyneside
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Police chiefs have insisted they are clamping down on off-road vehicle nuisance in South Tyneside.
Further concerns have been raised by borough leaders after residents continue to report problems with off-road motorcycles in the area.
Sergeant John Bailey from Northumbria Police claimed anti-social behaviour (ASB) reports due to the vehicles have remained low in recent months, but admitted there had also been a rise in incidents involving electric scooters and off-road vehicles.
He said: “We’ve got the force-wide problem plan which has the policing strategy on how it should be dealt with.
“We don’t have, as some forces in North Yorkshire have, off-road motorbikes to pursue them, so we rely on community intelligence.
“For me what works really well for us and my team is we will put the vehicle up on the likes of Twitter so people can see that, not just law abiding people, but other people, so they know about off-road biking and know the risks.”
Sgt Bailey was speaking at Thursday’s (April 21) meeting of South Tyneside Council’s West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum (CAF), where he added officers also have concerns over licensing and insurance of vehicles, as well as noise nuisance.
Tactics to tackle the issue currently include including using road traffic legislation to visit homes and check insurance details, and ultimately seizing and destroying the vehicles if appropriate.
Riding on open land, parks, rights of way and footpaths is almost always illegal, and even on private land permission is required from the owner.
Cllr Ian Forster claimed offenders regularly use service stations to refuel their bikes.
Officers insisted they often visit service stations and request store managers notify them of off-road motorbikes or jerry cans being filled.
Sgt Bailey also referenced proposals to develop a dedicated facility for off-road motorcycles in the area.
Meetings have previously heard how this would also be used by riders in Sunderland and Gateshead.
The police chief added while this is the “long-term aim” there are a number of issues which need to be addressed first, with no update on the plans at this time.