Officers remind parents and guardians of responsibilities around off-road bike incidents in Tamworth
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Officers would like to reassure Tamworth residents that they are doing everything they can to crack down on the number of illegal off-road motorbikes currently being driven around the borough.
PCSO Deborah Harrison, an anti-social behaviour officer with Staffordshire Police’s southern Harm Reduction Hub, said the force was well aware of the number of incidents being reported and added: “We would like to reassure you that we are doing everything we can in order to prevent this behaviour.”
Incidents have increased in a number of areas recently including Hodge Lane, Wiggington Park, Hamble, Caledonian, Saffron and Furness and officers are now stressing the importance of the role parents and carers can play in bringing the number of offences down.
PCSO Harrison said: “Off-road bikes cause significant danger to members of the public using cycle paths, parks, roads and open spaces. Working together we will make the area a safer place to live. Anti-social behaviour of this kind with not be tolerated.”
Police have a number of powers available to them to tackle the issue including Section 59 Warnings issued to riders; the confiscation of motorbikes; the prosecution of those who are riding them; and prosecuting driving offences.
Also, working with partner agencies, they can issue a Community Protection Warning to parents if the young person is aged under 16 years. And for those aged under 18, a financial penalty will be the responsibility of the parent or guardian. An example of this was seen recently where a 15 year-old from Tamworth was caught riding a pit bike and an off-road bike on two separate occasions following repeated complaints from local residents about the effects on their quality of life. He was prosecuted for no insurance and no licence and a motorbike was seized. At court he received six penalty points and a £200 fine.
And PCSO Harrison added: “We are appealing for information. Please contact us if you are affected by off-road motorbikes, know the owners, the riders or the whereabouts of these bikes. Working together, we can make a real difference.
“You can message Staffordshire Police directly on Facebook or Twitter. You can speak to your Local PCSO. Or you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 - this can be done anonymously."