I recently met with the Chief Constable and MPs from across Gwent to discuss the issue of illegal off-road vehicles.
It was a very positive meeting and MPs praised Gwent Police’s work to try and tackle this problem, particularly the recent successes in Caerphilly where 15 bikes were seized.
Despite what some claim, this is not a victimless crime. The illegal use of off-road vehicles is harming our countryside, causing injury, distress and even death to grazing animals, as well as disrupting farming activity.
It also poses a risk to walkers and other users of our open spaces. Many of these vehicles are uninsured, untaxed and shouldn’t be ridden on the roads, meaning normal road users are often being put at risk.
It is a very hard crime to police. Our countryside areas are vast and the police’s powers to take any kind of preventative measures are limited.
So I was pleased that, despite the challenges, the good work Gwent Police are doing is being recognised and I was able to reaffirm my commitment to work with the police and partners to continue to try and address this problem.