'Blatant disregard' leads to crackdown on anti-social motorcyclists

Motorcycles seized by Suffolk Police

Police seized 12 bikes and issued 20 Covid breaches fines and multiple tickets in a crackdown on anti-social cycling damaging a popular beauty spot. - Credit: Suffolk Police

Police seized 12 motorbikes, issued 20 Covid breaches fines and multiple tickets in a crackdown on anti-social cycling damaging a popular beauty spot. 

Restrictions had been put in place at King's Forest, Thetford, after "significant" damage in the area to enable flora and fauna to recover. Signs were installed warning the by-ways are closed during the current pandemic. 

Suffolk Police, with support from Bedfordshire Police, carried out an operation at the forest on Sunday, seizing 11 motorcycles and one quad bike during the day.

A police spokesman said the signs had been repeatedly taken down with people showing a "blatant disregard for temporary closure".

Officers also issued 13 traffic violation tickets, 10 tickets to people for no insurance, an incident of no MOT and 19 fixed penalty notices for breaching Covid regulations, 24 hours before new regulations came into force.

Sgt Brian Calver from the wildlife and rural crime team, said: "It was a very satisfying day of action, and good to be able to seize the number of bikes we did.

"This offending was aggravated by the fact we were still within the COVID restrictions, so many of the offenders shouldn’t have been there at all.

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"We have seen a lot of breaches in the area, particularly on Sundays, with some offenders causing criminal damage by ripping the closure signs down.

"They have been doing as they selfishly please with no consideration for the environment or the law abiding public using the area.  

"I’d like to emphasise that byways open to traffic are roads under the Road Traffic Act and as such, any quad bikes or off road bikes used must be fully road legal.

"We’ll continue to target this area and those that aren’t road-legal will be dealt with robustly, with vehicles seized, where we have the powers to do so.

"A big thank you to Bedfordshire Police for supporting us with the operation with some off road capability – they were kind enough to bring a spare off-road bike for us to use as part of the activity.”