Putting the brakes on off-road bikers

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Community safety agencies are working together to target the off-road bikers who make the lives of residents a misery.

The Safer Hartlepool Partnership is spearheading the campaign which is targeting those who use motor vehicles or drive off-road bikes illegally and

cause nuisance and danger in communities.

The work will predominantly cover the Old Cemetery Road area, but will also offer support and enforcement to other areas of the town.

Extra patrols by Motorcycle Section officers will take place along with new signs that have been erected, warning of the consequences of illegal off-road

motoring.

The signs will act as a permanent warning that anyone found riding or driving off-road vehicles or bikes illegally will result in the immediate seizure of the

vehicle and potentially a court summons.

If the vehicle is owned by a third party, this person may also be summonsed to court for allowing the vehicle to be used in such a manner.

The same consequences will apply to vehicles being used in a manner which is causing, or likely to cause, alarm, distress, or annoyance to members of the

public.

Section 34 of the Road Traffic Act prohibits all motorised vehicles on any common land, moorland, land which is not part of a road, a footpath, bridle

path or restricted byway. There is no common land in Hartlepool where an off-road vehicle may be driven or ridden legally.

Inspector Mal Suggitt, from Hartlepool Integrated Neighbourhood Team, said: “The warning signs such as those erected in the Old Cemetery Road area

have been effective in other areas of the force and I am hopeful that they will have the same outcome here.

“The signs clearly state that off-road biking in that area is an offence and that action will be taken against those that disobey the law and the vehicles will be seized immediately.”

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, chair of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership and Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “We have to take a firm stance against anyone riding off-road bikes illegally as they are putting people’s lives at risk and damaging the local environment.

“All of the relevant agencies are working hard to address the issue and we have even produced a video which is being used on websites and social media to help get our message across.”

•Any person wishing to report the illegal or off-road use of vehicles should contact Cleveland Police on 101, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or

www.crimestoppers-uk.org.