A MOTORCYCLE scheme that successfully tackled the scourge of anti-social off-road biking among youths in Catterick is relaunching with a revamped HQ.

The Richmondshire Area Motorcycle Project (RAMP) was first launched in 2006 to tackle the increasing problem of groups of youths riding off-road motorbikes around green spaces in the Catterick Garrison area.

It was founded by former PCSO Kevin Mason who found that he and his police colleagues were spending a lot of their time responding to calls about the nuisance bikers.

Within the first year of the project’s launch, the number of such calls – which used to be around one a day – had dropped to zero.

The Northern Echo:

Since then, the scheme shifted its focus towards helping to rehabilitate young offenders and now takes referrals from authorities who recommend youths for the course who may be heading down the wrong track.

Four young people aged from 13 to 19 can take the four-session course at a time, learning to ride Honda CRF 125s on private land in a safe and productive way.

RAMP recently received a grant from the North Yorkshire Crime Commissioner’s office and that enabled it to revamp its base at Risedale School in Catterick Garrison.

On Saturday it held a relaunch event to celebrate the completion of the renovation work and the recruiting of new instructors which will enable the courses to restart in February next year.

Mr Mason is still heavily involved in the project and said he is ‘very proud’ of all it has achieved.

He said: “When we checked with police control operations to see how many calls they’d had about anti-social bikers in the garrison area over the first period of the project, it was zero, so something was working and it is still working.

“We have got four young people already wanting to do the next course – we did try and restart earlier but somebody got Covid so it had to be stopped.

“We take referrals from social services, the police and schools and it is about rehabilitating young people; it is catching them pre-offending and helping them through learning on the motorbikes and through education.

“We have been quite successful in putting them on a straight line.”

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