BURNT out vehicles and blatant Covid breaches are just some of the incidents that police have had to deal with over the past few weeks.

Officers from Weardale and Teesdale Neighbourhood Teams have recently dealt with an increase of reports of suspicious activity and Anti-Social Behaviour regarding off-road vehicles attending the Doctors Gate road, which leads into Hamsterley Forest. 
Officers have been deployed to a number of incidents over the last three weeks whereby significant damage is being caused to the moorland, restricted byway, and the road for people attending the area in 4X4 vehicles, off-road bikes, and Quad bikes. 
Not only is this a breach of current Covid restrictions, with some people having travelled as far as Whickham, near Newcastle, just to travel the road which has become a recent hotspot for off-road vehicles. 
Alongside a blatant breach of Covid regulations officers have also been dealing with related vehicle offences including a suspected stolen quad bike recovered by officers and one male released under investigation. 
Officers are currently working with Durham County Council, Bishop Auckland Fire and Rescue and the Forestry Commission attempting to reduce the issues occurring in the area. 
More alarmingly, services have seen an increase in calls regarding vehicles on fire within the forest and on the moors. This is believed to be a deliberate act due to the vehicles becoming stuck on the unclassified road due to the poor conditions and unable to be recovered.

Enquiries are being made to identify the owners of these vehicles however this is causing a lot of damage and is also polluting the environment.
Anti-Social Behaviour and driving offences will not be tolerated, and those blatantly acting in an unacceptable manner will be dealt with appropriately. Anyone with information regarding the issues at Doctors Gate can contact PCSO Chloe Gilding via email at Chloe.Gilding@durham.police.uk or via 101 alternatively, you can report anonymously via Crime Stoppers on  0800 555 111.