Think! Before You Buy An Off-Road Bike For Christmas

You might be thinking about buying an off-road bike ahead of Christmas – not realising the legislation that exists around owning and using this kind of vehicle.

At a Public meeting on Monday this week in Houghton Regis Police mentioned their success against riders in French's Avenue. And in Op Meteor they crushed 20 bikes on November 4th. Their call centre control room takes 450,000 to 460,000 calls, but all calls to 1010 and 999 are stored and records go back some 15 years.

The public are encouraged to keep phoning in to 101 for any anti social behaviour complaint against nuisance bikes, or any other crime incident, for that matter. The dedicated email address for off-road bike incidents will take pictures, or video to

Bedfordshire Police  would like to remind you of the facts of buying an off-road bike – whether it’s for yourself or as a gift.

The facts

Off-road motorbikes:

• Cannot be driven on the road – this is illegal and dangerous, and Bedfordshire Policecan seize it if it’s seen being ridden on the road or any other public place
• Cannot be driven on council land – no council in Bedfordshire authorises this.
• Can only be driven on private land with land owner’s permission.
• There are no authorised sites in Bedfordshire for off-road biking.
• A suitable motor vehicle is needed to transport off-road bikes to and from authorised sites.
• Thieves are actively targeting and stealing off-road bikes.

The consequences

By riding an off-road bike you are:

• Putting yourself at considerable risk of serious injury or death.
• Putting road users and pedestrians at considerable risk of serious injury or death.
• Causing considerable distress to residents.

And you may…
• Lose your bike and face prosecution.

The Law

• You could be prosecuted for offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988.
• Having a traffic conviction can seriously affect the cost of getting car insurance.
• Only motor vehicles adapted for the road can be driven on the road provided they :
- Have insurance and MOT
- Are being driven in accordance with a valid driving licence.
- The tax has been paid
• You risk your bike being seized and crushed by police under S.59 Police Reform Act 2002.

Report it

Have you seen an off-road motorbike being ridden dangerously? Tell the Police!

When reporting offenders, keep these points in mind:

• Where was it sighted? Where did they come from? Where are they going?
• What does the bike look like? Type of bike/ colour(s)/ loud or quiet/ number plate/ old or new
• Are there any symbols, letters, numbers or words on the bike?
• What does the rider look like? Age/ gender/ build/ ethnicity/ hair/ mask/ helmet/ clothing/ colour
• Is there any CCTV likely?
• Do you have any photos or videos?

If you want to report a nuisance bikers you can use the dedicated email account: or you can use the new reporting system on the Bedfordshire Police website. Before filling out the report form please familiarise yourself with the reporting guidance here.

Alternatively you can report via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or in an emergency if lives are at risk call 999.
Bedfordshire Police is working closely with its partners to ensure offenders are brought to justice and help protect our local community.

Bedfordshire Police hope you have a safe, enjoyable Christmas.