Essex Police is working with partners to tackle nuisance motorcyclists in Harlow.
Police have received 121 calls about motorbikes, quad bikes, pit bikes and mopeds being ridden illegally or in an antisocial manner in Harlow between March 18 and May 18. This compares to 74 during the same time last year.
Officers have been patrolling hotspot areas, including around Commonside Road, Parringdon Road, Broadley Road, Nicholls Field and Church Langley, and working with schools to educate youngsters about the law around riding offroad vehicles.
Under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002, they cannot be ridden on common land, moorland, land which is not part of the road, a footpath, bridleway, restricted byway or private land without the owner s permission.
Anyone caught flouting the law will receive a warning but any subsequent offences will mean their machines will automatically be seized or crushed. Riders could also face heavy fines for anti-social riding.
Just this week, two bikes have been seized and two section 59 warnings issued.
Police also supported Harlow Council to successfully apply to Chelmsford County Court yesterday, Thursday May 19, for an injunction preventing unauthorised rideouts in Harlow between 10am and 12am on public roads and land. This applies to congregations of drivers or riders of two or more motor vehicles, including motorcycles, who act in an anti-social manner. This includes behaviour such as using excessive noise, being a danger to other road users and pedestrians, driving at excess speed and performing stunts.
Temporary district commander for Harlow, Insp Paul Maleary, said: “We have seen a marked increase in reports of nuisance vehicles, due in part to the warmer weather, of which at least three quarters are about off-road motorbikes.
“Bikers are riding on roads and common land in a manner that can only be described as reckless, posing a danger to themselves and members of the public.
“They also carry out stunts and ride around a high speed, with many not wearing any protective gear and often without driving licences or insurance.
“We are worried there could be a serious injury incident or a fatality and take this very seriously, which is why we are working in partnership with Harlow Council to tackle this issue robustly.
“But we also need parents to also make sure they know what their children are doing and make sure they are riding legally and safely.
Anyone with concerns or information about illegally used bikes should contact Essex Police on 101.