Young bikers warned by police

Police are cracking down on nuisance off-road bikers in the Spen Valley.

Spen police have received record numbers of young people driving quadbikes, scooters and dirt bikes illegally on common land or using them anti-socially.

Over a three month period last summer, there were 142 incidents when motorbikes disturbed residents, compared to 133 incidents across Dewsbury and just 55 in Batley.

The problem is not necessarily the bikes themselves, but their use on common land without the owners’ permission and the disturbance caused to residents when the engines are revved in quiet areas.

Insp Tim Holland said that riders faced prosecution and having their vehicles seized if warnings were not heeded.

“People buy their children bikes to use but there is nowhere around here for them to be used safely or legally,” he said.

“They buy them without a thought to health and safety concerns.

“Unless you have a van to take them to an off-road track, then they shouldn’t be used.

“The riders get a warning and if they are found off-roading again, or behaving anti-socially, then the bikes will be seized.”

Insp Holland said the problem was spread across the Spen Valley, but was mainly a concern for parts of Cleckheaton town centre, Liversedge and Gomersal, including the Shirley Estate.

Spen police can call on the services of PC Nigel Law and PC Andrew Money, who use police-issued off-road bikes to track down offenders.

Insp Holland added: “They are our off-road bike team.

“It means they can access areas that police vans or officers on foot can’t get to.

“Stopping the illegal and anti-social use of these bikes is a priority for us.”