Pledge to crack down on off-road bikes in Hartlepool as 'menaces' cause community complaints

Hartlepool police officers have called on the public to help them take action against illegal use of off-road motorbikes and quad bikes.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 3:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 9:12 am
Roads Policing Officers and staff and officers from Hartlepool's Neighbourhood Team.
Roads Policing Officers and staff and officers from Hartlepool's Neighbourhood Team.

Families across the town have complained to Cleveland Police about illegal use of such vehicles, prompting the force to pledge action against those riding the bikes illegally.

Roads Policing officers from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit will be on patrol across Hartlepool’s problem areas under the banner of Operation Endurance.

Signs, warning riders that police may confiscate and dispose of any off-road bikes deemed to cause a nuisance, will also be placed across the town.

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Some of the worst-affected areas are the beaches at Headland and West view, along with the Manor House ward and Fens estate, Hartlepool Neighbourhood Police Team said.

Nicholas Stone, Neighbourhood Safety Team Leader, has called for the public’s support with the operation.

He said: “Some people think that off-road motorbikes and quad bikes are permitted to use certain areas, including the sand dunes along the coast, but that is simply not the case.

“These bikes which often have no road tax or insurance, pose a major threat to public safety, they cause a noise nuisance and they are often responsible for causing serious damage to natural habitats which support numerous species of animals and plants.

“I would urge anyone with information about people illegally using off-road motorbikes and quad bikes to get in touch so that we can act on the intelligence they provide.”

The illegal use of off-road bikes is an issue across the town and the new signs, put up under Section 34 of the Road Traffic Act, mean police do not have to issue any warnings to drivers prior to taking their bikes away.

Sergeant Steve Rodgers, also from Hartlepool Community Safety Team, re-iterated the need for public information on the issue, and where it is affecting them.

He added: “Unless you have access to a private piece of land and permission from the landowner these vehicles cannot be used legally.

“Let this be a warning that we will seize bikes being used illegally and it could result in a criminal conviction.”