Fines totalling thousands of pounds dished out to off-road bikers
Off-road bike officers say that thanks to tip-offs from the public, thousands of pounds worth of fines have been dished out to illegal bikers in recent weeks.
The Wakefield District Police Operation Matrix Off Road Team is now planning further enforcement action for this month after seizing six machines and issuing 15 fines and warnings in February.
Six men and women who appeared at court were also fined a combined £3,577 and penalty points after being dealt with at court for offences including driving and riding without insurance, and failing to stop for a police officer.
Team members have said reports from residents are proving invaluable at helping them ensure they are in the right place at the right time.
Hotspot areas for officers over the past few weeks have included Airedale, Sharlston Woods and Featherstone.
Matrix officers recently seized two vehicles from the Sharlston area and another off road bike from Featherstone despite riders attempting to flee.
Aside from actions on patrol, officers were also able to use their off road capability to pursue and track down a man spotted breaking into a container in a field in Wakefield.
He was arrested for burglary and enquiries into the matter remain ongoing.
One member of the Matrix team is also proactively working with schools in order to educate school children around the dangers and consequences of illegal off road biking.
Chief Inspector Rick Sumner of Wakefield District Police, said: “The off-road Matrix Team continues to provide us with a brilliant capability to track down criminals harming our communities almost anywhere in Wakefield and to take quick and decisive action against illegal and dangerous off road riders.
“The team are getting increasing reports from communities about problem areas and I would really ask residents to please keep this up.
“The community intelligence reports, CCTV and mobile phone footage really are invaluable and help us plan future operations and make sure we are patrolling where we are needed. I must however emphasise that any footage should be obtained safely and not at the expense of putting themselves in harm’s way trying to capture an image”
“I would also warn those who think it is acceptable to ride off road illegally and anti-socially that the communities of Wakefield won’t stand for it and neither will the police.
“ Residents are telling us who you are and providing us with the footage showing you breaking the law. Our off road bikes give us the capability to track you down and even if we don’t, you can be assured that if we have your address we will be paying you a visit, if not, together with the communities help, we will collate the evidence for a future prosecution.”
Anyone who has information about nuisance and illegal off road bike activity in Wakefield can contact the Matrix team via email at [email protected]
Reports can also be made by residents to their local NPT either via 101, online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat or via the https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/report-it pages on the West Yorkshire Police website which allow for a variety of offences to be reported.