Fast food vans feeding illegal bikers at Rainworth, police say

Illegal bikers are still blighting the area.
Illegal bikers are still blighting the area.

An illegal off-road motorbike hotspot is becoming so popular that even fast food vans are turning up to trade, police have said.

The land known as ‘The Desert’ near Rainworth has become a magnet for bikers in recent years, but officers are eager to stress they are not permitted.

They are leaflet dropping homes in the area to warn the bikers and calling on residents to report any illegal biking.

Mansfield Sergeant Neil Priestley said: “We’ve even had burger vans go up there because they think it’s legal.

“People are obviously of the opinion that they can go up there and ride all day. That message still seems to be passed around, so we’ve now got officers up there on a regular basis.”

Inspector Nick Butler added: “It’s become so much of an issue for us we are putting an operation together with Mansfield District Council.

“There are people coming in towing bikes on trailers from as far away as Sheffield. They seem to think it’s legal, but it isn’t.

“That’s the message we’re trying to get across.

“We can understand why people go there with their bikes because of the layout, but we’ve already seized a number of bikes.”

However, bikers coming in from outside the area is only part of the problem, with police worried about the number of young bikers riding around the streets and parks.

“They’re riding without licenses or safety equipment,” added Insp Butler.

“Somebody will get hurt because these bikes are appearing out of nowhere.

“People can ring us in strict confidence and give us details because it’s likely they will know who these people are.

“Also, if people are bringing bikes in on trailers, take down the registration numbers and call us.”

While the police have a Land Rover that patrols off-road areas such as The Desert, Nottinghamshire county councillor, John Allin, has also provided £1,500 from his council divisional funds.

The funds will help pay for equipment for the police riders.

Coun Allin said: “They’ve got the riders and the bikes, but this will help with the equipment.

“We’re getting a lot of these riders, particularly at weekends.

“The biggest problem is that people are buying these bikes and not checking where they can take them, so they take them into any part of the countryside.”

Anyone wanting to provide information about illegal riders can contact police anonymously on 101 or on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.