On Friday 13 September, South Yorkshire Police in partnership with Doncaster Council launched a new trial scheme to tackle anti-social motorcyclists in the borough.
The Green Road Watch Scheme is the result of extensive partnership work between officers from our Operational Support Unit, the local authority and the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF), and was sparked by concerns about misuse of ‘Green Lanes’ and off road riding in the Doncaster area.
Roads Policing Sergeant Matt Duffy says it’s a positive move: “We have been aware of problems with motorcycles and quad bikes being ridden irresponsibly in parts of Doncaster for a while now and our off-road bike team have been working hard to tackle the issue.
“However, we know there is more that we need to do to get a grip on the problem and this new scheme is part of that.
“We have recruited ten community volunteers as wardens who will provide a high visibility presence in the areas where we have reports of anti-social behaviour related to off-road bikes and quads.
“The wardens will be patrolling, advising people about rights of access and reporting incidents to the council and the police. They will in essence be the eyes and ears of the authorities, thereby increasing the chances of being reported when riding illegally.
“It’s as much about engagement and education as helping us with enforcement. The wardens will be talking to people about the TRF code of conduct and how to identify legal routes so all users of these areas can do so safely, legally and with respect and courtesy. ”
The ‘Green Road Watch Scheme’ aims to support local and national park authorities in reducing illegal and anti-social use of motorcycles on green roads, rights of way and other land not forming parts of a road.
Inspector Craig Clifton from the force’s Operational Support Unit says: “It’s easy to underestimate the impact anti-social behaviour involving motorcycles has on the community, but as part of our action so far we haven’t just seized bikes, but also drugs and weapons. On top of this you have the environmental impact for residents and businesses, including our local farmers.”
Councillor Chris McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: "We have a zero tolerance stance on all crime and anti-social behaviour.
"Residents can be confident the council and its partners are tackling problems like these in our communities.
"This operation sends a clear warning out to those involved that we will take action and seize motorbikes if people are causing a nuisance. This is another example of joint working at its very best."
Stewart Bosworth, Director for Police & Training at TRF said: “We’re proud to be working with SYP, and for them and Doncaster Council to pioneer this approach shows innovation and commitment to working with responsible civilian resources to solve long standing problems in our community.
“The TRF promotes respectful and lawful trail riding on Green Roads across England and Wales. Our core mission of Green Road conservation includes working with authorities if instances of nuisance or illegal riding occur. The TRF’s work with police forces around the country encourages an approach that presents the TRF as a way of learning where you can and can’t ride, what behaviours are suitable on Green Roads and a programme to bring about change.”
For more information about training please see the TRF website.
Anyone who would like to report anti-social or illegal use of off-road bikes is asked to contact their local neighbourhood team. A full list of these can be found on our website.
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