A bike has been confiscated, warning notices issued to drivers and the police helicopter deployed as part of a Bolsover Community Safety Partnership project to clamp down on nuisance vehicles.
Prompted by a rise in complaints about the issue, the work has targeted areas including Carr Vale ponds, Glapwell trails, Langwith Woods from East Lea, the former Oxcroft Coal Disposal site, Pleasley Park, Poulter Park and Whitwell Tip.
Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) police officers and PCSOs, Derbyshire County Council Countryside Rangers and Bolsover District Council CAN Rangers have been carrying out targeted patrols in the areas and using their powers to take action against those using vehicles illegally and in anti-social ways.
The vehicles have damaged public bridleways, pathways and private land and caused concern among both genuine users of the paths and bridleways and local residents.
Quad bikes, mini motos and 4 x 4s have all been dealt with as part of the project, with a number of verbal warnings issued after default and defect checks and seven Section 59 warning notices being handed out for vehicles being used in ways likely to cause a nuisance, alarm or distress.
If the vehicles concerned are caught being involved in similar circumstances again within 12 months of the notice being issued, police have the power to seize them.
The police helicopter was called to deal with a nuisance motorcycle which was driven aggressively towards a police officer, before the rider made an escape.
Signs funded by the Community Safety Partnership have been erected in affected areas to make people aware that vehicles must not be used there.
The Chair of Bolsover Community Safety Partnership, Coun Brian Murray-Carr, said “This initiative is designed to send out a clear message that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable and to demonstrate that we will take appropriate action to stop it.
“The extent of the damage caused on some public bridleways and footpaths is such that areas are now impassable due to the deep ruts which have been created and damage done to the surface and surrounding areas. By working together the Partners are demonstrating they will not tolerate this kind of behaviour.”
Further enforcement activity is planned and Bolsover Community Safety Partnership is asking anyone who sees a vehicle being driven recklessly or who is experiencing problems with nuisance vehicles to report it by telephoning the police non-emergency number 101 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.