Police in South Gloucestershire have a new weapon to help tackle nuisance – two off-road motorbikes.
Five neighbourhood PCs based at Staple Hill, Filton and Chipping Sodbury police stations have been trained to ride the bikes, which will be used to tackle anti-social use of motorbikes.
In Staple Hill the two officers will be targeting scramblers riding off-road on Siston Common.
The Filton officers will be able to tackle any problems with scrambling at locations including the Three Brooks Nature Reserve and private land at Severn Beach.
In Chipping Sodbury an officer will be able to use the motorbike to resolve any issues with nuisance riders on the commons around the area.
Staple Hill Neighbourhood Inspector Kevin Thatcher obtained the bikes from the Avon and Somerset specialist Road Policing Unit, who also trained the neighbourhood officers.
He said: “A frequent concern for local people is motorcyclists riding recklessly on common ground and other open spaces. These areas are also used by other members of the community, especially children, and people are quite reasonably concerned about the potential for someone to get hurt.”
Insp Thatcher added that the off-road motorbikes would also be valuable to police officers tackling anti-social behaviour and robbery on the cycle path.
He said: “South Gloucestershire officers have been working hard with our colleagues from Bristol to tackle the problems we have seen on the cycle path.
“At the moment the problems have died down, thanks in part to increased patrols and arrests, but we are not complacent. These motorbikes will help us maintain our high-profile patrols of the cycle path to prevent further crime and nuisance as well as enabling us to respond effectively to any offences.”
Insp Thatcher explained that although motor vehicles are banned from the cycle path, police officers can ride the off-road motorbikes along the track to target a particular problem or carry out reassurance patrols. Officers can contravene road traffic legislation as long as it is reasonable in the circumstances.
Source: Avon and Somerset Police