Off-road bikers in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot targeted in crack-down
RIDERS of noisy and nuisance off-road bikes are being warned their machines will be confiscated and crushed.
Police are mounting a crackdown across Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot — and they have a special message for anyone who may have been given a bike for Christmas that if they ride it in an antisocial way their present could be seized and destroyed.
The operation is being run by the Rural And Forestry Team (Raft), and among the hotspots being targeted are Heol y Barna in Pontlliw, Graig in Waunarlwydd, the old brickworks site in Dunvant, Bwlch near Cwmavon, Tonmawr and Baglan Mountain.
Constable Mark Davies, from Raft, said: "Unlicensed riders and motorbikes can only be used on private land, which the rider either owns or has permission to ride on from the land owner. Riding anywhere else without having a driving licence, insurance and a road-legal motorbike or quad is against the law and we won't hesitate to confiscate those bikes and prosecute the riders."
Raft was formed in 2008 in a joint project between South Wales Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
As well as tackling irresponsible riders using off-road bikes on roads, the officers are targeting common land, footpaths and restricted byways and bridleways.
Since it was launched more than 250 riders have been caught and warned, and more than 30 bikes confiscated. Motorbikes can be seized and then crushed under the Police Reform Act 2002.
Paul Lewis, antisocial behaviour reduction co-ordinator for Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, said: "The vast majority of motorcycle riders behave in a responsible manner — but we do receive regular complaints from the public and landowners about the behaviour of a minority of riders who run the real risk of having their motorbikes confiscated and eventually crushed.
"If those individuals continue to cause problems we won't hesitate to deal with them via the antisocial behaviour legislation that is available to us.
"Anybody who may have received a motorbike or quad bike for Christmas should ensure they meet all the legal requirements to use them — anyone using them in an antisocial way will be targeted and dealt with firmly."