AN OFF-ROAD police team seized a motorbike and issued several notices to bikers and a 4x4 driver in a crackdown on country park petrolheads.
The officers were acting on a tip-off from residents near Westwood Country Park about off-roaders using trails at the park and the nearby spoil heap at spoil heaps near Thorpe Hesley Cricket Ground for riding.
Walkers and families using the same space had raised concerns that motor vehicles posed a risk to pedestrians, police said.
The day of action saw advice given to road-legal users and a bike seized from one person who had already received a warning notice.
Plain-clothes officers also found two suspected stolen vehicles and seven warnings under the Police Reform Act were issued to risky riders.
Insp Chris Lewis said: “Not only do these bikes present a danger to others, they are damaging the natural environment and reducing the enjoyment of people accessing the areas for legitimate means.
“We will do everything within our power to disrupt and deter the off-roaders.”
Police biker PC Jamie Walker said: “A number of the off-roaders we encounter are taxed, insured and licensed appropriately.
“But they need to be warned that they are not entitled to ride on common land or private land without permission.
“Where this is the case, we issue them with a notice under the Police Reform Act and record their personal details and those of the vehicle.”
Officers will also refer riders to the Trail Riders’ Fellowship, which signposts bikers to terrain which is legal and fun to tackle.
PC Walker added: “Should they be stopped on common land on a second occasion, officers can seize and impound the vehicle and prosecute the individual.
“If you are found to be riding on common land without insurance and a driving licence your bike will be impounded and you will face prosecution.”