Meeting to Tackle Illegal Use of Off-Road Vehicles
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, and Blaenau Gwent MP, Nick Smith, met with key partners in the community last week to discuss how they can work together to tackle the nuisance and illegal use of off-road vehicles which blights some communities.
The meeting hosted last week by Mr Cuthbert and MP Nick Smith at Gwent Police's Headquarters in Cwmbran (Friday December 9th 2016) provided an opportunity for representatives from Gwent Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, the Local Authorities, Keep Wales Tidy and local landowners to discuss ways they can work together to tackle the illegal and anti-social use of off-road vehicles.
During the meeting, the partners identified hotspot areas for the illegal and anti-social use of off-road vehicles and discussed potential initiatives to tackle the issues which included the implementation of a school education programme and engagement with biker groups. A further meeting of the group will be held in early in 2017 to discuss progress and next steps.
Since his election as Gwent PCC over six months ago, Mr Cuthbert and members of staff from his office have attended nearly 250 community engagement opportunities throughout Gwent. The issue around the illegal and anti-social use of off-road vehicles is something which has been repeatedly raised.
According to Mr Cuthbert, there will be consequences for those caught using their vehicles in a manner causing or likely to cause alarm, distress or annoyance to the public. Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 allows a police officer or a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) to seize a vehicle when it is believed it is being used in connection with antisocial behaviour.
Following the meeting, Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert said: "We want to work with our partners to rid our communities of this anti-social problem. The illegal use of off-road vehicles is a form of anti-social behaviour which is not only a noise nuisance to the landowners and residents of Gwent, but also contributes long lasting physical damage to the local environment and habitats. People are also potentially putting their own lives and the lives of others at significant risk by driving these vehicles in an illegal manner. I look forward to working with this group further in the New Year to create a local action plan and to identify solutions to illegal off road biking. It's only through efficient joined-up working we can prevent and reduce levels of crime in Gwent."
Nick Smith, the Member of Parliament for Blaenau Gwent, said: "Blaenau Gwent's countryside and farmland should be cherished but a small minority are wrecking it without thought. Churning up land and worrying livestock, these off-roaders don't realise the damage they are causing to our natural landscapes. I am pleased so many organisations are getting around the table and taking this problem seriously. Our communities deserve peace of mind that the places they call home won't be ruined by the actions of a few."
If you have any information regarding illegal off-road biking, please contact Gwent Police via 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org