Residents who are being terrorised by nuisance off-road bikers in South Tyneside have welcomed news of a crack-down by police.
Gazette readers took to social media to vent their anger and upset at frightening encounters with anti-social riders.
Police have stepped up patrols around the Whiteleas and Temple Park areas of South Shields, following complaints from residents about the illegal practice.
So far, police say they have confiscated 29 illegal machines and are reminding off-road riders that it is an offence to use them on public land - meaning anywhere in the borough.
Offenders face having their bikes confiscated.
Bobby Leigh Heslop wrote on the Gazette facebook page saying: “My little boy saw a guy on a bike. He had a scarf over his face.
“They don’t want a safe place to ride they just want to terrorise people on the roads as they get a kick out of it”Gillian Kane Bewick
“He thinks they are bad guys. I said last night ‘don’t worry the police will catch him’.
“He was very pleased when I showed him they had.”
Helen King also has a frightened child as a result of the behaviour.
She said: “My eight-year-old was scared and crying when about five of them zoomed past her within inches in Temple Park.”
Susan Wainwright added: “Doing wheelies in residential streets is not a good idea. They don’t deserve bikes if they can’t be sensible.”
Melanie Meston wrote: “I have a horse and I have had some not nice encounters with these so-called bikers.
“They were trying to scare my horse. They rode in circles around a child on a pony being led out by her mum.
“They aren’t allowed on bridle tracks so they take a chainsaw to the stiles making them dangerous for horses. The list is endless.”
Others, however, blamed a lack of space for off-road bikes to be used legally.
Lea Brand wrote: “I’m a rider. I do believe these lads need somewhere to ride their bikes and it will get rid of this problem.
“There’s plenty of unused land that could be put to good use by the council.”
Kelli Bruce added: “These bikes really annoy me – always going over Temple field when I take my dog for a walk but if there was somewhere for the kids to use them locally we wouldn’t have the problem.”
Gemma Mcdougall disagreed that designated areas to ride bikes would solve the problem, saying: “If I was going to buy something I’d sure as hell make sure there was somewhere to use it before I bought it.
“They know full well what they are doing – riding like lunatics around residential areas.
“I’ve nearly been hit a few times while they fly down the little cuts in Biddick Hall. No common sense or care for their own safety never mind others.”
Gillian Kane Bewick had the same view: “They don’t want a safe place to ride they just want to terrorise people on the roads as they get a kick out of it,” she said.
Michael Mckeown added: “Even if you give them somewhere to go it’s not going to solve anything, because they’ll still ride the bikes to get there.”