Police warning to rogue bikers

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OFF-ROAD riders who plague their communities are set to receive orders threatening to seize their nuisance bikes.

Northumbria Police have launched Operation Balance in a bid to crack down on scramblers wreaking havoc on estates across Sunderland.

Officers are starting to issue Section 59 notices, warning bikers that if they continue to ride antisocially or dangerously, their bikes will be seized.

Action will also be taken over any driving offences by the riders, who are often just youths.

Pc Graeme Simpson, Neighbourhood Beat Manager for Barnes and Eden Vale, said: “This is an ongoing operation, with us currently focusing our efforts on the South Hylton, Pennywell and Silksworth ski slope areas.

“However, any information we receive on nuisance bikers elsewhere will be acted on.

“We know this is an issue that causes concern in communities which is why we’ve launched Operation Balance.

“I’d ask members of the public to continue to give us any information, so we can continue to target off-road bikes and improve residents’ quality of life.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Pickett added: “Motorcycle disorder not only causes a great annoyance to residents, disrupting their quality of life, but it can also can be extremely dangerous.

“While these bikes may look like fun, they are dangerous when used in areas where there are pedestrians – not only for members of the public, but for the riders also.”

Pc Simpson said that bikes being used in an antisocial manner would be seized, and action would also be taken against riders using their bike illegally.

“Youngsters run the risk of having points added to their licence before they even apply for one,” he said.

“I hope residents are reassured by the action being carried out by neighbourhood officers to stop nuisance bikers in their tracks, which will continue.”

 Geoff Lakeman, 61, from Silksworth, said: “It’s not just the noise which causes the problem. These bikes tear up all the fields, turning them to mud, especially in this weather.

“The kids on them don’t even look old enough to ride a pedal bike, let alone a motorbike.”

Twitter: @craigjourno