Off-road motorcyclists warned bikes used illegally will be seized as part of latest operation to tackle anti-social riding
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Off-road motorcyclists using their bikes dangerously and illegally are being warned they will be seized as part of North Wales Police’s latest initiative to tackle increasing reports of anti-social riding.
Operation Blue Takeoff, created by the Proactive Intercept Team’s PC Sarah Smith, has been launched as part of the force’s ongoing drive to tackle the illegal use of off-road bikes.
Reports from residents across the region have in recent months significantly increased over concerns about the problem.
As a result, the operation targeted areas of Flintshire this week, following recent reports some riders have failed to stop for officers in the area, as well as off-road bikes being driven dangerously on pavements and through side streets.
It has also been reported youths have been seen riding off-road bikes in the Connah’s Quay and Shotton areas, with young people as passengers - both with no helmets or protective equipment.
Intercept officers along with the off-road motorcycle team and the drone team - using drones invisible to those on the ground – were deployed to specific areas identified using special data to target any bikes being used illegally.
Despite no bikes being taken off the road, Inspector Matt Subacchi of the Police Interceptors & Drone Teams said it was a successful operation from a prevention point of view, with officers carrying out 13 motorcycle stop checks as well as issuing advice around road safety.
Inspector Subacchi said: “Reports of nuisance off-road bikes being driven illegally have increased significantly in a number of areas across the force area during the spring and summer months.
“The main aim of Op Blue Takeoff is to target motorcyclists riding illegally to prevent risk to the public - and to protect them against fatal injuries. Off-road bikes can pose a very real threat of danger to any member of the public in the vicinity and indeed the riders themselves.
“We understand the frustration that they cause within our communities, and we will continue our efforts to crack down on this anti-social behaviour.
“To anyone considering using off road bikes in an anti-social manner – please don’t risk your life, or the lives of others. Those who do will be caught, and you will have your bike seized.
“I hope that members of the public will also support us by providing information about off-road bikes in their area.”
The operation will continue to run over coming months and will be targeting multiple areas across North Wales.
Following the operation, Flintshire North Inspector Steve Roberts added: “We are aware of the issues some communities are having with the illegal use of off-road motorcycles.
“In response, we have worked closely with our colleagues in the Operational Support Services dept, and Operation Blue Takeoff has been developed.
“During this operation we will not pursue motorcycles, but we will be deploying our high-tech assets and officers with specialist skills to identify and locate the bikes.
“My message to those who illegally use off road motorcycles is simple- ‘The first time you know you have been caught riding your motorbike illegally will be when we turn up and seize it. Don’t expect to have your bike returned’.”