Police moves afoot to tackle risks of motorised bikes

They add up paradise for petrolheads but quad bikes and dirt bikes are not the most popular mode of transport for others who see and hear them.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 10:19 am

In fact, there’s no shortage of folk the length and breadth of North Lanarkshire who are sick sore and tired of these vehicles where they simply shouldn’t be.

A member of Cumbernauld-based Carbrain and Hillcrest Community Council, William Homer speaks for many in what is a too-common problem in a densely populated area.

William said: “In our area we have issues with not only quads but trail and mini bikes.

“The community council have had numerous complaints and we have been advising that residents must report incidents to the police.

“We don’t want to spoil people’s fun but residential areas are no place for this.

“Many who do this either have no regard for others or just fail to understand that they are putting themselves and others in danger.

“There is also a blatant disregard for those who are just wanting to have peace and quite in their home.

“Having someone buzzing back and forth under your window is no fun.”

Meanwhile, Duncan Clark, Reserves Manager, Scottish Wildlife Trust, said that smaller bikes have proved a headache on its land.

He added: “Illegal use of motorised bikes is a serious problem on the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s reserves in Cumbernauld and other parts of Scotland.

“It disturbs the wildlife that lives there, and it disturbs the people who walk, cycle and ride horses through them.

“By creating noise, damaging paths and making people feel unsafe, these bikes are preventing people in our communities from seeking tranquillity in our reserves and enjoying the incredible nature that’s on their doorstep.

“We’d support action to reduce illegal bike use, and we urge anyone who encounters these bikes on our reserves to contact police.”

However, a new move on the part of the police and North Lanarkshire Council signifies that a crackdown is underway.

For two new Honda off- road motorbikes have been purchased in a partnership by North Lanarkshire Council’s Community Matters Locality Partnership and Police Scotland.

These will be utilised by the police to address the increased levels of antisocial behaviour caused, in particular, by the illegal use of quad bikes on public roads, footpaths and fields.

The investment runs to £15,000 but for both parties that is a small price to pay.

And trained police officers will deploy the bikes through known hot spots right across the authority.

Councillor Jim Reddin, who is convenor of Bellshill Locality Partnership, explained: “This issue was raised with us at community safety sub groups and is an excellent example of partnership working between the police and council.”

Inspector Keith Campbell of Police Scotland, added: “This is a complex issue that can be hard to deal with.

“It can be the result of persons knowingly riding off road motorbikes in an illegal manner or by parents buying their children these vehicles and not being aware of the law surrounding them.

“There are, of course, people who use them legally, but the actions of others could potentially spoil it for them.

“Our bikes will be a valuable asset in disrupting such behaviour as well as offering conspicuous and highly mobile re-assurance to the community.

“We share the safety concerns of those who are alarmed by the use of these vehicles in parks and pathways causing huge danger to children, residents and dog walkers.

“Identification of the individuals concerned is absolutely key to tackling this issue.

“Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”