Posted: Thu 25th Aug 2022

Police targeting nuisance off-road bikers in Deeside say non taken off road yet but operation has been “successful”

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Aug 25th, 2022

Nuisance off-road bikers riding dangerously and illegally in Deeside are being warned their bikes will be seized.

North Wales Police has launched an operation to tackle off-road bikers following a large increase in reports of anti-social riding.

Operation Blue Takeoff, created by the Proactive Intercept Team’s PC Sarah Smith, has been launched as part of the force’s ongoing drive to tackle the illegal use of off-road bikes.

Reports from residents across Deeside have in recent months significantly increased over concerns about the problem.

As a result, the operation targeted areas of Flintshire this week, following recent reports some riders have failed to stop for officers in the area, as well as off-road bikes being driven dangerously on pavements and through side streets.

Two dirt bikes on the 33 Football Pitch off Shotton Lane earlier this week

Police say they have dealt with reports of youths seen riding off-road bikes in the Connah’s Quay and Shotton areas, with young people as passengers – both with no helmets or protective equipment.

Intercept officers along with the off-road motorcycle team and the drone team – using drones invisible to those on the ground – were deployed to specific areas identified using special data to target any bikes being used illegally.

No bikes have been taken off the road as yet but police have said the operation has been “successful” from a prevention point of view, with officers carrying out 13 motorcycle stop checks as well as issuing advice on road safety.

Inspector Matt Subacchi of the Police Interceptors & Drone Teams said: “Reports of nuisance off-road bikes being driven illegally have increased significantly in a number of areas across the force area during the spring and summer months.”

“The main aim of Op Blue Takeoff is to target motorcyclists riding illegally to prevent risk to the public – and to protect them against fatal injuries.”

“Off-road bikes can pose a very real threat of danger to any member of the public in the vicinity and indeed the riders themselves.”

“We understand the frustration that they cause within our communities, and we will continue our efforts to crack down on this anti-social behaviour.”

Insp Subacchi said: “To anyone considering using off road bikes in an anti-social manner – please don’t risk your life, or the lives of others. Those who do will be caught, and you will have your bike seized.”

“I hope that members of the public will also support us by providing information about off-road bikes in their area.”

Police have said the operation will continue to run over coming months and will be targeting multiple areas across North Wales.

Following the operation, Flintshire North Inspector Steve Roberts added: “We are aware of the issues some communities are having with the illegal use of off-road motorcycles.

“In response, we have worked closely with our colleagues in the Operational Support Services dept, and Operation Blue Takeoff has been developed.

“During this operation we will not pursue motorcycles, but we will be deploying our high-tech assets and officers with specialist skills to identify and locate the bikes.

“My message to those who illegally use off road motorcycles is simple- ‘The first time you know you have been caught riding your motorbike illegally will be when we turn up and seize it. Don’t expect to have your bike returned’.”

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