Off-road bikers and mini-moto riders could lose their machines if they don’t tow the line.
Police in Arun are warning anti-social riders they risk losing their bikes after a recent rise in reports of off-road bikes and mini motos causing problems in the community.
Most mini motos and other off-road vehicles cannot legally be ridden on the road, nor can they be used on pavements, footpaths, cycle paths, on parkland, common land or wasteland. They can only be ridden legally on dedicated sites or private land, with the permission of the landowner, explained a Sussex Police spokesman.
“Under the Police Reform Act 2005, we have powers to seize motor vehicles which are causing alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public,” said PCSO Ray Fraser said. “Similar powers now exist for offences of having no licence/no insurance under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.
“Repeat offenders should be aware that they may have their vehicles taken from them. The cost to recover these vehicles will be over £100, and if the owner is unable to pay, they may be destroyed.”
The local council also has power, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to serve a legal notice and possibly seize the offending vehicle. They may consider prosecution too.
To be street legal, the vehicle needs to be registered, taxed, insured and have a valid MOT certificate and the rider/driver must have a valid driving licence. The carriageway, pavement and footpaths are all part of the public highway.
Parents and the owners of vehicles can be classed as aiding and abetting if they permit the illegal use of vehicles. The provision of petrol by parents or owners is also aiding and abetting and they are liable to prosecution.
Ray Fraser added: “We are advising local residents to report anyone seen using these vehicles illegally by calling us on 101, or via the Operation Crackdown website at http://www.operationcrackdown.org/”