Operation Meteor: Quad Seized
The sun was out at the weekend and so were Bedfordshire Police as they continued their crackdown in Central Bedfordshire to curb the issue of nuisance motorists.
Bedfordshire Police has been encouraging members of the public to help identify nuisance motorcyclists in an attempt to clampdown on the number of people who think that it is acceptable to ride motorbikes, quad bikes, mopeds, scooters or mini-motos in a dangerous way across public land.
On Sunday (Mar 16), a number of those responsible for creating such issues came face-to-face with officers from the Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard Local Policing Teams who were assisted by the Priority Anti-Social Behaviour Team, a vehicle examiner, the Special Constabulary and three motorcycle officers from the Roads Policing Unit.
The teams started the day in the Sewell Lane and Totternhoe Knolls area of Houghton Regis where a number of bikes had been spotted and attempted to make off. One rider was stopped and he was issued with a Section 59 (S59) notice. Officers then followed and stopped two further bikes which attempted to make off and both riders were issued with S59s, and an air rifle was also seized.
The team then moved on to Tithe Farm Road following numerous reports that a quad and an off road bike – being ridden by someone without a crash helmet - were causing a nuisance in the area. The quad was located in a garden in Leaf Road and seized as it was suspected to have been stolen.
Sergeant Linda Wilson of the Central Local Policing Team, said: “It seems that the warm spring weather meant that nuisance motorists were out in force in Houghton Regis on Sunday but I am delighted that 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 by Bedfordshire Police 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.”
Sergeant Wilson added: “One of the issues that we do have is not being able to pursue after 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”
Anyone with information concerning nuisance vehicles can contact Bedfordshire Police on 101.