Crackdown on motorbike nuisances in Houghton and Washington continues

Police have launched a crack down on motorbike disorder in Houghton and Washington.
Police have launched a crack down on motorbike disorder in Houghton and Washington.
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Four people have been warned about motorbike disorder in the past two weeks as police continue to crackdown on nuisances

Concerns have been raised about off-road motorbikes ridden irresponsibly, inconsiderately and illegally across Washington and Houghton prompting the local neighbourhood policing team to take action.

Earlier this year, a teenager received a youth caution for driving a quad bike on a public road. His quad bike was subsequently uplifted by police.

In April, a man was found guilty at Newcastle Crown Court for criminal damage - caused by a quad bike he was riding.

The bike was also driven up and down public roads in the Philadelphia area.

The court requested the bike was crushed.

A man has also been reported for summons for riding a quad bike on a public road with no insurance and no driving licence. Another man has received a fine of more than £500 and 6 points on his driving licence.

And, in the past two weeks alone the team has issued four section 59 notices - a section 59 notice warns the individual they have been identified as responsible for motorbike disorder through their irresponsible and inconsiderate behaviour and if they continue they could end up in court and have their bike seized and crushed.

In addition to enforcement action officers have been speaking to local residents to help identify those who are responsible.

Neighbourhood Inspector Vicky Quinn said: "We are aware of the issues across Washington and Houghton around motorbike disorder and understand the local communities frustrations about this. The disorder is not just causing a nuisance and disruption but it is potentially dangerous and someone could end up injured.

"While we recognise the risk these riders present to the community, it's important we consider the risk if we chase them and by doing so we could potentially be putting members of the public at a greater risk so we are often faced with challenges in catching them. However, officers will do all they can within their powers without putting the public at risk and will take down any number plates or identifying features on the bike or offender.

"Unfortunately, many of the riders are wearing helmets or scarves to disguise themselves so identifying the offender can present some difficulties which is why information from members of the public is absolutely crucial and we would urge anyone who knows who these riders are to come forward and speak to us.

"Once we have identified who the offenders are we will absolutely pursue them and utilise our powers to take action, where we have the power to do so we will seize the bike and it could ultimately end up with the bike being crushed.

"It has been identified that some of these riders are from outside of the area and we work closely with our neighbouring forces to try and identify them.

"The action that has already been taken is quite considerable and I hope reassures our local residents that we are listening to their concerns and taking them seriously. However, we are not complacent and we will continue to target motorbike disorder right through the summer months."

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: "Anyone who thinks it’s alright to break the law and ride motorbikes in public places, should think again. This proactive policing sends out a loud and clear message - this behaviour won't be tolerated in Washington and Houghton.

"Those responsible are putting themselves at risk as well as risking the safety of others. I hope local residents feel encouraged to contact the police if they see any disorder like this. I will ensure ASB remains a top priority for Northumbria Police."

Police are also reminding off-road motorbike riders it is illegal for them to ride their bike on public land or private land without the landowners permission.

Without the landowners permission off-road motorbikes should only be ridden at an official off-road motorbike track, details of which can be found online.