NUISANCE off-road bikers have been warned they face arrest and having their vehicles seized.

Durham police has launched Operation Endurance to rid the streets of illegal bikers, with support from Durham County Council, Darlington Borough Council, the Woodland Trust and National Trust .

Inspector Jon Curtis said: "People's safety is our top priority and we know these bikes are causing a great nuisance in our communities, especially in Darlington and Peterlee."

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He said nuisance bike activity can be unsafe and illegal and include riders who are underage, have no licence, insurance or tax, cause damage or create antisocial behaviour.

Offenders will be targeted with warnings, seizure notices and behaviour contracts and agencies will provide diversionary work.

Insp Curtis said: "We will work with the community and in partnership with local agencies to identify offenders, gather intelligence, take action to seize vehicles, reduce offending and divert young people away from this type of dangerous and irresponsible activity. Where necessary, we will hold parents and guardians to account.

"There are lawful off-roaders who enjoy riding on proper off-road tracks in the area, but there are others who flout the law.

"There are lots of clubs, organisations and locations where people can ride legally and safely and this is what we want to encourage them to do."

Durham police also plan to work with social landlords across County Durham and Darlington to help mitigate the problem.

Insp Curtis said: "People committing anti-social behaviour may face action for a breach of their tenancy agreements.

"We are seeking the support of the community to tell us who the offenders are and where they are keeping their bikes and quads. We want them to know that if we get this information, we will act upon it. We can offer confidential reporting through Crimestoppers."

The Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner Ron Hogg said: "This is a topic which is frequently raised by the community and I have shared these concerns with the police.

"I am delighted with the force's response to the problem and to see that action is being taken."

To surrender an unwanted motorbike or quademail opendurance@durham.pnn.police.uk or your local police team.

Insp Curtis added: "People may have motorbikes or quads cluttering up their gardens or sheds, rather than see these being stolen or falling into the hands of people that will happily use them to commit offences or cause a nuisance to others, we'll collect them free of charge and safely dispose of them".