Police in off-road biking crackdown

Some of the seized bikes are loaded onto a trailer
Some of the seized bikes are loaded onto a trailer

Off-road riders as young as five are believed to have been targeted by a police operation designed to seize illegal bikes.

Police say they acted as a result of dozens of complaints from residents, anxious about the public safety threat and noise nuisance.

Once the bikes have been confiscated, they are liable to be crushed.

Some critics blasted community officers for impounding a quad bike said to belong to a primary school pupil.

But several neighbours have praised police, who focused on Westwood Way, near Wigan, and Crankwood and Plank Lane, near Leigh, for their crackdown.

Pat Boland said on Facebook: “We suffer these idiots speeding up Crankwood Road, doing wheelies past the children’s playground, every weekend and during the week.

“Danger to pedestrians and other road users.”

Dean Towler added: “Makes me laugh all these saying the police should be out catching ‘proper criminals’.

“(You) can hear them all moaning when one of these uninsured riders hits a pedestrian on a public footpath when the bike is not meant to be there or causes damage to their car when they are weaving in and out to get away.

“Off-road means off-road for a reason.”

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “The majority of these people are from out of the area.

“They come and use the bikes illegally, with no insurance etc, hence why we seize them.

“The local residents regularly complain with regards to the noise and general nuisance this issue causes.”

Police say they accept that people may have differing opinions on the validity of such operations.

But the spokesman added: “Ultimately GMP are responding to the complaints of their local community and taking appropriate and positive action.”

Several complaints were made over off-road riders causing problems along Poolstock, and through Platt Bridge and Warrington Road, Ince. Off-road bikes have proved to be a menace in the borough for years.

In June 2014 a nine-year-old girl suffered a head injury and a broken leg when she was hit by one on Plane Avenue, Worsley Hall. Daniel Atkinson was jailed for six months and hit with an 18-month driving ban with an extended test along with a 12-month supervision order after admitting a catalogue of motoring offences in relation to the crash.