Stolen motorbikes recovered in Hertsmere operation

TWO stolen motorbikes were recovered in a joint operation to tackle nuisance riders.

The bikes were being ridden dangerously on farmland by Bridgefoot Lane in Potters Bar and were tracked down by council and police officers working on the Campaign Against Rogue Motorcycles (CARM).

Three other rogue bikers were caught in the borough-wide operation – one on farmland near South Mimms, one riding on a footpath behind South Mimms services and one at playing fields in Elstree.

The five riders – all young men – were given formal warnings and served with noise abatement notices.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of theft. One was later released without charge, the other bailed until next month pending further enquiries.

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Hertsmere borough councillor Jean Heywood, environment portfolio holder, praised the operation’s success.

She said: “CARM aims to tackle the noise and anti-social behaviour associated with off-road motorcycles and mini-motos and remind young people of the dangers of riding bikes irresponsibly.

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“I hope this makes people think twice before riding a motorbike in one of Hertsmere’s beautiful open spaces. It is not only a nuisance but can also be extremely dangerous.”

CARM operations are regularly carried out across the borough – with police officers on their off-road bikes able to track any suspects effectively.

Sgt Kate Chalmers said: “Anti-social riding has previously been difficult to deal with but our off-road bikes have helped to catch those acting anti-socially and send a message to others that we can, and we will, catch you.

“Once the rider has been given a formal warning, if they, or someone else riding their bike, is caught again, we have the power to confiscate their bikes.

“These operations have helped reduce the number of reports from members of the public.”

Gavin Burns, principal environmental health officer at the council, added: “Many of those caught are completely irresponsible and ride recklessly at high speed down footpaths and bridleways with no concern for others.

“Our success is really down to members of the public who report the problem to us and to the use of police off-road motorbikes – once the riders have been seen they very rarely get away!”

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