Off-road police pledge to bring more illegal bikers before the courts

West Yorkshire Police's off-road bikers
West Yorkshire Police's off-road bikers

Wakefield off-road officers have seized seven bikes in four weeks as part of a continuing campaign against dangerous and illegal riding.

The Operation Matrix team have pledged to put more suspects before the courts after a busy April targeting illegal riders in Castleford, Wakefield and the South East area of the District.

During the course of Apri,l officers seized seven machines, issued eight section 59 notices and reported and or charged four persons to appear before the courts for riding offences.

Among the arrests made by officers was a man who had been the subject of a number of complaints for anti-social quad bike riding in Castleford.

After viewing CCTV of him riding with a child on the back of a machine, officers located and arrested him on suspicion of child neglect. His quad bike was also seized.

A male identified as a persistent cause of ASB in the South East area was also issued with three penalty points and a £100 fine.

Finally, cases brought before the courts resulted in a man being fined £811 for riding an off road bike on the road in Normanton and another man being fine £235 for riding an off road machine on the road in Wakefield.

The latest action follows an upswing in reports of anti-social off road riding in recent weeks, particularly in the Castleford and Knottingley areas.

Measures announced to address the increase include the much wider deployment of a DNA spray which can be used to tag riders and prove their guilt in court.

Funding provided by Wakefield Council as part of the Safer Communities Partnership is to allow the spray to be deployed 24/7 in Wakefield for the first time

Wakefield East Officers first began using their DNA spray in 2017 and its first deployment led to a then 18-year-old being convicted at court.

It has since been rolled out across the whole of the District and in neighbouring Kirklees.

Inspector Martin Moizer of Wakefield North East and Rural, said: “Targeting illegal riders is a big focus for us at present and these latest results from our off-road Matrix teams demonstrate how determined we are to get a message out to those who think it is acceptable to behave in this way.

“We know this behaviour creates real fear and misery in our communities as well as the risk of serious injury to the riders themselves. Frankly some of the choices made by the persons involved in this behaviour can simply beggar belief.

“Officers continue to urge anyone who has information about illegal off road riding in their communities to come forward and help us put these people before the courts.

Information and intelligence about illegal off road riding in Wakefield can be emailed to your local NPT on 101 or via email to wakefield.central@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk, pontefract@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk and castleford@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.