Police are cracking down on people who ride motorbikes, quad bikes, mopeds, scooters and mini-motos in a dangerous way across public land.
Some of them came face-to-face with a special Beds Police team at Sewell and Houghton Regis and on Totternhoe Knolls on Sunday of last week.
In Sewell Lane, several bikes were spotted and the riders tried to make off. One was stopped and issued with a Section 59 (S59) notice. Officers then followed and stopped two other bikes and both riders were issued with S59s. An air rifle was also seized.
The team then moved on to Tithe Farm Road after reports that a quad bike and an off-road bike – being ridden by someone without a crash helmet - were causing a nuisance in the area. The quad was found in a garden in Leaf Road and seized as it was suspected to have been stolen.
Sgt Linda Wilson, of the Central Local Policing Team, said: “The warm spring weather meant that nuisance motorists were out in force in Houghton Regis, but we have been able to disrupt their plans and make a positive impact on the local community.
“While we may have seized one vehicle and issued a number of S59s, it was more pleasing that so many members of the community came forward and spoke with us about the issue and offered further information about those responsible.
“Operation Meteor is a long-running effort to combat the nuisance created by all motorists who find it impossible to drive or ride their vehicles in accordance with the law and we will be using this information when we next run the operation.”
“Officers were able to take full advantage of Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 which gives them the ability to stop anti-social motorists and warn them about their behaviour as well as issuing fines and seizing their vehicles.”
Sgt Wilson added: “One of the issues that we do have is not being able to pursue every single nuisance motorcyclist, but by providing information such as names, addresses or where the vehicle may have been previously, we can build up a picture of the offenders and take appropriate action.
“Riders need to realise that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable. Not only is it an offence, but it is also extremely dangerous for others. These riders need to understand that if they ride their motorbike in a park or somewhere else that they shouldn’t they will receive a warning or have their motorbike seized and possibly destroyed.
“Anyone caught riding on pavements or roads illegally could also be dealt with for motoring offences such as riding without a licence and having no MoT or insurance. My message to parents considering buying a motorbike or similar vehicle for their children to use off road is simple – unless you have permission for your children to use it on private land, don’t do it.”