DYFED-Powys Police and Natural Resources Wales are working together to target illegal off-roading within the Tywi and Dyfi Forests. Increased patrols from both organisations are taking place to target the illegal use of off-road bikes – particularly in the Ffair Rhos and Teifi Pools areas, which have been identified as hot spots for illegal off-roading.
PC Esther Davies, Dyfed-Powys Police Rural Crime Team, said: “In addition to a safety hazard to both themselves and others, illegal off-roading has a major impact on the environment.
“We would like to remind members of the public that anyone found to be undertaking illegal off-road activity on a footpath, bridleway or access land may be liable to prosecution under S34 of the Road Traffic Act and S59 Police Reform Act. Under both acts, illegal off-road riders are liable to have their vehicles seized.
“The best way forward is for these riders to find a commercial motorsports site, an off-road centre, or by joining a reputable club specialising in off-road activities. User organisations can advise people on the use of public rights of way, such as byways and unsurfaced roads.”
Police have the power to seize bikes and cars which are used in a way which causes harassment, alarm or distress. A warning is given first but if that fails to be effective and the vehicle is used in an anti-social manner again, it will be seized under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act. Vehicles can also be seized if the rider is not insured or has no road tax.
Riders who want to keep within the realms of the law are encouraged to contact their Local Rights of Way Officer for information on where they can ride or join one of the many organisations representing riders.
Natural Resources Wales Forestry Area Manager, Jim Ralph said: “Riding off-road motorbikes can be very popular – however, these vehicles can also be used in a dangerous, noisy and anti-social way, generating lots of complaints to us and the police.
“We regularly receive complaints concerning the anti-social use of off-road motorbikes, and to help reduce harm to individuals and communities, we will continue to work closely with Dyfed-Powys Police to carry out operations where illegal off-roading vehicles will be targeted.”
PC Davies added: “Information from the public is vital to positive action being taken, and we are urging anybody who witnesses the illegal use of motorcycles, off-road or quad bikes in the area to contact us. We would also request that any footage captured is sent to us with as much detail as possible.”
Anybody with information regarding the use of illegal off-road bikes is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.