Wakefield police seize five off-road bikes as battle against nuisance riders continues

A number of off-road motorbikes linked to nuisance riding across the Wakefield district have been seized by police.

Wakefield District Police's Matrix Team has seized or recovered five off-road bikes being used illegally since the start of 2018, building on a string of 34 successful court cases and 78 seizures from last year.

The continuing work by off-road officers has been complemented by the roll out of a SelectaDNA ‘tagging’ agent to neighbourhood policing teams across Wakefield, giving them a new weapon to positively identify those involved in offending.

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Police have pledged that prosecuting those involved in the anti-social use of off-road machines will remain a priority following a recent wave of activity by the District’s two Matrix officers.

Among the seizures made in 2018 so far are an off-road bike seized from Normanton on January 5 and a machine seized from its rider in Agbrigg on January 13 after it was found to be uninsured.

Officers also served a South Elmsall rider with three penalty points and a £300 fine on January 8 after he pulled a wheelie in front of them on a moped.

Inspector Paul Sullivan, of Wakefield Neighbourhood East, said: “Our Matrix officers have clearly achieved some excellent results in 2017 and it is significant that all of the 34 cases they brought to court resulted in convictions for the offenders.

“I thank them for their efforts and the support they are providing to us as we maintain our focus on making life tough for those who think it is acceptable to use off road bikes in an illegal and dangerous fashion.

“I would urge any members of our communities who have intelligence about illegal off road riding to get in touch with us.”

Selecta DNA is now being used by officers in the Wakefield West Neighbourhood Policing Team as well as those in Wakefield East, where it was piloted last year.

Its use resulted in the conviction and prosecution of a man who was sprayed with the solution by PSCO Ken Short.

The 18-year-old rider was then observed and filmed behaving illegally on a quad bike.

The man was later found guilty in court, with the solution forming a key part of the evidence to prove that he was the person responsible.

Wakefield Safer Communities Partnership funding means neighbourhood teams now have five canisters of the DNA tagging spray for use while on patrol in the city and outlying areas.

Inspector Helen Brear, of the Wakefield Neighbourhood West, said: “As we have saw last year, a single spray of this solution can result in a conviction and offenders here should be well and truly clear that the days when they may have assumed anonymity could stop them being prosecuted are over.

“I hope the deployment of this resource and the continuing patrols by our Matrix Officers demonstrates how seriously we treat this issue.”

Anyone who has information about illegal off-road riding in their communities is urged to contact their local policing team on 101.