Rogue riders facing court action more than doubles in the last four years across Wakefield district

The number of illegal off-road bikers being charged in the Wakefield district has more than doubled in the past four years, police statistics show.

Off-road police are charging more illegal bikers than ever before.
Off-road police are charging more illegal bikers than ever before.

Results from West Yorkshire Police’s ongoing Operation Matrix, to stop bikers terrorising neighbourhoods, shows that 43 people felt the full force of the law in 2018.

This is compared to just 17 in 2015, 23 the year after, and 34 in 2017.

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But rather it being an increase in the number of illegal bikers, police say it is because more rogue riders are switching from woodlands to public roads, making them easier to prosecute.

In addition, they say the public are playing a key role helping to catch offenders.

A police spokesman said: “A definite shift this year has been the willingness from members of the public to pass on information to us.

“We are receiving photographs and footage form CCTV, as well as lots of intelligence via various channels.

“In relation to the court appearances, since keeping records we have had a 100 per cent success rate with the prosecutions and this has carried on in 2018.

“This has definitely been aided on numerous occasions by our body worn cameras, and the use of CCTV.”

Meanwhile, the number officers working on Operation Matrix has also recently leapt from two to five, while investment in December has meant two new officers’ bikes have been bought, and operations are now running seven days a week.