Off-road bikes worth £30k seized by police

Mansfield's off-road biking police team.
Mansfield's off-road biking police team.

Around £30,000 worth of off-road motorbikes were seized during a police operation near Mansfield over the weekend.

A team of specially-trained officers used targeted ‘The Desert’ area on Sunday and confiscated seven bikes, most of which will now be crushed.

Bikes confiscated at The Desert, near Mansfield.

Bikes confiscated at The Desert, near Mansfield.

Mansfield’s divisional commander, Inspector Nick Butler, said: “This is because of ongoing concerns from the public about off-road bikes being used around the 
area so we’ve going out on a weekend to help catch these people.

“It’s illegal to ride there, and we want to make that really clear.

“The place is fenced off but these people are still finding a way through.

“The Desert is a dangerous location, but they’re also riding on streets, sometimes riding along footpaths and putting dog walkers at risk.

“Some are very expensive bikes that were seized, but we will continue to do this until it stops.”

Complaints over off-road bikers blighting residential streets around Mansfield have soared in recent years.

This includes areas such as Ladybrook, Barringer Road and the MARR route.

The Desert - a sandy wasteland area near the Oak Tree Lane estate - has become a popular gathering point, with fast food vans even turning up to trade.

Riders have persistently ignored warnings from the police, even travelling from as 
far as South Yorkshire by loading their bikes into vans and heading for Mansfield at weekends.

Indeed, five people that were stopped at the weekend were from the Sheffield and Rotherham area.

The zero-tolerance approach means bikers caught riding illegally will have their bikes taken off them without question.

As well as the confiscation, a number of community protection notices were dished out to riders on Sunday, meaning they can be fined on-the-spot or arrested if they are caught in the area again.

The team of officers carrying out the operation are equipped with their own off-road motorcycles and a Land Rover.

Funding courtesy of Nottinghamshire county councillor, John Allin, has meant the work will continue.

“The weekend was a good result for us,” added Insp Butler.

“The public has said they have had enough of this so this is why we are doing it.”