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8 April 2010, 12:11
Police in Kent have been given off-road motorbikes so they can target people who are driving anti-socially in the county.
Twenty officers have been trained to ride the Yamaha 450's which are designed to patrol woodlands, fields and other areas that normal police vehicles can't get to.
The bikes can be used anywhere in the county and can also help in the search for missing people if needed.
With the weather getting warmer, and the evenings lighter, police are warning people with motorbikes, quad bikes and 4x4's to make sure they are using them legally.
PC Dave Greenwood from Kent Police’s Central Motorcycle Unit said: "Nuisance off-road bikes and 4x4’s are anti-social. People need to be aware that they can ride these vehicles off-road, so long as they have the required insurance, registration and driving licence, and providing they are riding in a manner that is not causing distress or annoyance and they are riding or driving where it is legal."
Police have the power to stop riders, issue a summons and, if appropriate, seize their vehicles.
The team recently spent two days in West Kent where they seized five bikes and issued 10 Section 59 orders.
Chief Inspector Andy Reeves, head of Kent Police’s Roads Policing Unit added: "Unlawful and unsafe off road biking is a real problem in some areas. Such activity is anti-social, impacting significantly on people’s quality of life as they seek to enjoy their homes and local public areas, particularly in the spring and summer months. In addition such activity can also be dangerous for those seeking to legitimately enjoy local open spaces. More often than not these riders are untrained and their bikes are not insured, taxed or MOT-ed.
"Kent Police is keen to work with and support responsible and legal bike riders, but we will not tolerate illegal off-road vehicles and anyone found committing offences will be dealt with."