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Motorcycles seized in day of action in Thetford

Police have conducted a day of action in at King’s Forest in Thetford to tackle anti-social use of off-road bikes.

The operation, with some support from Bedfordshire Police, on Sunday (28 March) was in response to a number of issues caused by riders abusing the Site of Special Scientific Interest with off-road motorcycles causing widespread environmental damage to main by-ways in the area.

Damage was so significant that it prompted the local authority to erect signs highlighting a temporary restriction of it to enable the flora and fauna to recover. However, the signs clearly stating the by-ways are closed during the current pandemic were being repeatedly taken down with people showing a blatant disregard for temporary closure.

The day saw 11 motorcycles seized, one quad bike seized, 13 people ticketed for traffic violations, 10 people ticketed for no insurance, one person ticketed for no MOT and 19 FPNs issued for breach of the Covid regulations before the new regulations were introduced yesterday (Monday 29 March)

Sgt Brian Calver from the Wildlife and Rural Crime Team said: ""It was a very satisfying day of action, and good to be able to seize the number of bikes we did. This offending was aggravated by the fact we were still within the COVID restrictions, so many of the offenders shouldn’t have been there at all. We have seen a lot of breaches in the area, particularly on Sundays, with some offenders causing criminal damage by ripping the closure signs down.

"They have been doing as they selfishly please with no consideration for the environment or the law abiding public using the area. I’d like to emphasise that byways open to traffic are roads under the Road Traffic Act and as such, any quad bikes or off road bikes used must be fully road legal. We’ll continue to target this area and those that aren’t road-legal will be dealt with robustly, with vehicles seized, where we have the powers to do so.”

"A big thank you to Bedfordshire police for supporting us with the operation with some off road capability – they were kind enough to bring a spare off-road bike for us to use as part of the activity.”