Police crack down on illegal off-road bike use in Harrogate

Police have warned Harrogate residents to stay safe after reports of youths riding unsafe and illegal off-road bikes across town.

Thursday, 21st July 2016, 3:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2016, 4:44 pm
Police tape in Harrogate

Residents have reported a number of incidents over recent weeks of youths riding the mini-motors and trial bikes across the town.

Police have warned that the off-road bikes are both unsafe and illegal and riders could put themselves, and members of the public, at risk of injury.

PC Amanda Hanusch-Moore, of Harrogate Police, revealed that both young and old people were riding the machines in parks, pedestrian areas, on public highways and close to schools.

She said: "This is clearly anti-social behaviour which causes a real nuisance to people who live in these localities and sometimes puts them at risk of being injured themselves by the riders' irresponsible driving.

"The riding of any off-road bikes or mini-motos in a public place is illegal unless it is on the road, the bike is fully roadworthy, taxed, insured and displaying a registration plate and the rider has a suitable DVLA license and is wearing a helmet.

"I would urge local residents to call and let us know whenever they witness youths riding off-road bikes so that we can build up a picture of the full extent of the problem, and respond appropriately."

Officers have described drivers riding the machines with no helmets or lights as being "extremely dangerous" to both themselves and anyone in the area.

On Tuesday, July 19, police revealed they had caught one scooter driver on Woodfield Park and issued them with a Section 59 warning.

Anyone who has witnessed the use of off-road bikes on the road is asked to contact police so they can build a picture of the "full extent" of the problem.

Members of the public should note the vehicle registration, make and model, as well as anything else which might distinguish the rider, so that officers can follow up enquiries.

Residents can call 999 if the bike is being driven dangerously at the time or can report non-emergency issues and information by calling 101.