The scourge of troublesome off-road bikers is being tackled by police as they destroy a number of quad bikes they have seized.

Cleveland Police launched Operation Endurance after serious concerns were raised about young riders taking to the roads on illegal bikes and causing havoc in communities across the force area.

As a result of the on-going campaign, around 50 motorbikes have been crushed but the force decided that the latest clampdown would be shown in public to reinforce the message that dangerous, off-road biking will be forcefully tackled.

As part of the operation, the force launched ‘Back on Track’ which sees young people engage in a six-week educational programme to enhance their knowledge on bikes and quads.

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Chief Constable Mark Webster said: “This is a very visual message that we are taking steps to deal with the problem of anti-social and nuisance bike riders.

“We want to send out a clear message that this will not be tolerated. These people are putting lives in danger, whether it is their own or a member of the public, it does not matter. We need to take steps to educate people about the dangers.

“This is only one of the measures we are implementing to tackle the issue. Education and engagement work is already underway to help change the culture of riding off-road bikes among young people.”

The Northern Echo: Seized motorbikes being crushed by Cleveland PoliceSeized motorbikes being crushed by Cleveland Police (Image: Stuart Boulton, Newsquest)

A number of residents turned out to watch the motorbikes being crushed in the car park of Tesco in South Bank.

One, who didn’t want to be named, said: “They are always flying around the streets, quite often without any sort of lights on, it is so dangerous. The noise they make is terrible – it can go on for hours and hours.

“We are pleased to see that the police are doing something about it.”

The scheme has been developed by Cleveland Police and will be funded by the area’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Steve Turner.

The Northern Echo: A quad bike coming out of the crusherA quad bike coming out of the crusher (Image: Stuart Boulton, Newsquest)

During the scheme, sixty young people from the Redcar and Cleveland area will be given vital health and safety information around bikes and will be taught about the laws around their use.

The aim of the programme is to help break down barriers and build on positive relationships with youth workers, Police officers, the Fire Service and the force’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team.

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PCC Steve Turner has released funds raised by the seizure of money or assets gained by criminal activity.

Steve said: “Residents regularly tell me about the disruptive impact nuisance riding has on their communities, so it’s great to see the Force’s tough response to those responsible.

“Alongside effective enforcement by Cleveland Police, it’s important we get the educational message right to help prevent young people becoming antisocial riders in the first place.

“The Back on Track scheme will allow agencies to have a positive influence on young people - helping foster positive interests in bikes and mechanics, whilst warning about the dangers and legal consequences of riding irresponsibly.”