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Operation uses 'innovative methods' to tackle illegal off-road biking

June 8, 2021
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Police are cracking down even harder on illegal and antisocial off-road biking in the Ashfield district after launching a new bespoke operation to tackle the menace.

The Ashfield Neighbourhood Policing team has now launched ‘Operation Annachinda’ which will use innovative methods, including techniques used by detectives to track criminal gangs, to identify offenders and take enforcement action.

It will use a more investigative and intelligence-driven approach to help identify offending riders, disrupt illegal activity and seize offending vehicles - complementing the robust proactive work already being carried out to address the issue including the seizures of bikes which are causing a misery in the community.

Techniques used will include the mapping of offending vehicles and riders, to help build a more detailed intelligence picture relating to reported incidents and riders committing offences. Other aspects of the operation will include proactive early interventions, target hardening and wider partnership engagement.

Sergeant Olivia West, who is running the operation, said: “While we have had a lot of success in the past in seizing vehicles, usually motorbikes, from those riding illegally, we need a broader scope to fully disrupt this activity.

“From my background as a detective I will be using some methods that we have to map and identify criminal gangs to identify these offending riders. I will be working with landowners to look at how we can work together to make locations more difficult for the riders to access.

“In support of the operation we are also encouraging the public to send in any information they have around people using these vehicles, where they are being stored, or how they are being transported.

Last week the Op Reacher team were sent photos to their Facebook inbox of two mopeds riding along a footpath near to the A38 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. Due to the excellent quality of the images officers were able to identify the riders of the mopeds and both riders were given a warning. This means if they are seen riding in an antisocial manner again their vehicles will be seized immediately.

The off-road motorbike team, supported by the Hucknall neighbourhood team, also targeted patrols across the Mansfield area last month after receiving complaints about illegal use of the vehicles. Two bikes were seized after the riders were riding without insurance and a further warning notice was issued.

Inspector Mark Dickson, District Commander, added: “The illegal riding of vehicles is an ongoing issue across the force, and one the residents of Ashfield raise with me regularly.

“Local people are sick of these bikes being ridden illegally and causing a danger to people as well as causing criminal damage, including in private areas.

“We’ve recently received a few reports of people picking up injuries while riding these bikes and also animals being injured as a result of their use.

“This new approach, through Operation Annachinda, will allow us to be more systematic and targeted in our approach and allow us to use a range of legal and civil powers, including injunctions, to disrupt this activity and make spaces safer for all.

“I hope it reassures the public of our relentless commitment to tacking this distressing issue and that we are listening to their concerns and taking them seriously.

“We will continue to take robust action against those inconsiderate riders whose illegal and anti-social behaviour is causing misery in our communities, showing little or no regard for the law, the damage they cause or the threat they pose to members of the public.

“To help us with our ongoing work and our new operation we are asking the public to send in photographs and videos of any illegal off-road riders they see but we’d urge them not to approach, challenge or confront them themselves.

“We are also interested in any information people can provide us with in relation to people they know are using these vehicles illegally, or storing them for the use of others. All information will be treated in confidence.”

If you do witness any off-road vehicles in the area please report these at the time by calling Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can also email any information to ashfieldNPT@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.ukAs well as seizing bikes and prosecuting riders to tackle the issue, Nottinghamshire Police is also encouraging off-road bikers to explore areas in which they can legally enjoy their bikes.

The force has compiled a list of more than 20 legal off-road biking venues – all within easy reach of Nottingham.

In total there are more than 20 legal locations within 75 miles of Nottingham - facilities that cater for a range of abilities.

For more details about these legal sites visit https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/sites/default/files/documents/files/Legal%20Off-road%20venues.pdf

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