Off road bikers have had had their vehicles seized after fed-up residents and landowners complained to police about their antagonistic behaviour.
Farmers and landowners have been left having to foot the bill after thoughtless vandals used the four by four vehicles to churn up their land, wreaking havoc on the local habitat.
In direct response to these complaints Nottinghamshire Police has targeted the thugs over the month stopping and seizing the off road bikes and issuing riders with warnings.
The issue is something that residents have said is a priority for them in the area through the #WhatMatters survey, which supports the force’s renewed focus on designated neighbourhood priorities and allows residents to have a direct say on what happens in their area.
Officers have spent three consecutive weekends out in the Newark and Sherwood area, where they've been working to tackle anti-social behaviour and criminal damage caused by off-road bikes, which has been affecting local landowners, famers and members of the community.
The operation brings together officers from the Newark and Sherwood beat teams, Operation Reacher, rural specials, the force off-road bike team and the drone team.
Taking place each weekend since 6 March 2021, officers have been in various parts of the district responding to reports and patrolling areas where off-road biking has been reported as being an issue, including the A614, Deerdale Lane, which borders Mansfield, and the ‘Desert’, Rainworth, Kirton and Walesby. Most recently, they've been in South Scarle where they were able to speak to residents and provide reassurance about the action being taken in the area.
Over the course of the operation, several bikers and 4x4 drivers were stopped and spoken with. This includes:
* Four riders stopped and issued with a warning notice for anti-social use of off-road motorbikes (Section 59 warnings).
* Three vehicles stopped and seized for being ridden without tax and insurance.
* Two vehicles stopped and the riders reported for summons to court for driving offences which consist of mobile phone use and riding without road tax.
District Commander for Newark and Sherwood Heather Sutton, said: "This operation is a really positive example of the proactive approach we're taking to tackling the issues that the people of Newark and Sherwood tell us matter to them.
"As a rural community, our public and green spaces are extremely important and is something that our local community cares deeply about.
"This behaviour, where off-road bikes are being ridden on footpaths, in parks and on land without the owner's permission, is not only disruptive as a result of noise but also causes damage which the respective owners or organisations will then have to repair. This can often be costly both in terms of time and also financially.
"Since the operation, it is very promising to hear that we have seen a significant reduction in calls when it comes to the issue of illegal off-road biking, and our officers are dedicated to ensuring that this behaviour is discouraged before it happens and that this is a trend that continues.
"We would continue to encourage people to report any such issues to us and also to take part in the #WhatMatters Survey as this really helps us to take this targeted approach.
"We are here to listen and act upon information and we want to improve the lives of people in our communities by being proactive around issues that matter to them.
"If you are considering visiting Nottinghamshire on your motorbikes or quad bikes, be prepared to be stopped by the police, where we will take positive action."
To have a say on local policing, people can take the #WhatMatters Survey at: https://crowd.in/62CAnV
Advice on illegal off-road biking and how to report this to Nottinghamshire Police can be found at: https://crowd.in/7BJMtP