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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Police deal with rural off-roaders

During last weekend, June 22nd and 23rd, North Wales Police ran a second operation to address concerns regarding off-road bikes and 4x4 vehicles.
Following numerous complaints, increased patrols are taking place in rural parts of Denbighshire and Wrexham to target the illegal use of off-road motorcycles that are being ridden illegally.
As a result of the weekend long operation 15 people were dealt with for having illegal number plates, one had no insurance one for was dealt with for other driving offences.
Sgt Martin Jones said: “In addition to a safety hazard to both themselves and others, illegal off-roading has a major impact on the environment.”
“There are signs in place, but people are choosing to ignore them. We would like to remind members of the public that anyone found to be undertaking illegal off-road activity on a footpath or bridleway may be liable to prosecution under S34 of the Road Traffic Act and S59 Police Reform Act. Under both acts, illegal off-road riders are liable to have their vehicles seized.”
“The best way forward is for these riders to find a commercial motorsports site, an off-road centre, or by joining a reputable club specialising in off-road activities. User organisations can advise people on the use of public rights of way, such as byways and unsurfaced roads.”
Police have the power to seize bikes and cars which are used in a way which causes harassment, alarm or distress. A warning is given first but if that fails to be effective and the vehicle is used in an anti-social manner again, it will be seized under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act. Vehicles can also be seized if the rider is not insured or has no road tax.
Riders who want to keep within the realms of the law are encouraged to contact their local rights of way officer for information on where they can ride or join one of the many organisations representing riders.
Sgt Jones added: “Riding off road motorbikes can be very popular – however, these vehicles can also be used in a dangerous, noisy and anti-social way, generating lots of complaints to police.”
“We regularly receive complaints concerning the anti-social use of off road motorbikes, and to help reduce harm to individuals and communities, we will continue to work closely with our colleagues in Natural Resources Wales to carry out operations where we will seize and crush illegal off road vehicles.”
He added: “Information received via the public is vital to positive action being taken and we are urging anybody who witnesses the illegal use of motorcycles, off-road or quad bikes in the area to contact us. We would also request that any footage captured is sent to us with as much detail as possible.”
Sergeant Luke Hughes, of Wrexham Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "We will continue to take action against those who show no regard for road traffic laws, or those with no respect for the local community and wildlife.
"We wish to make our communities and these areas of natural beauty safe and accessible for all to enjoy and will run similar events regularly through the summer."
Anybody with information regarding the use of illegal off-road bikes are asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency always dial 999.

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