Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner says he is “very assured” by police efforts to combat nuisance bikers.

The issue, which is frequently near the top of concerns aired by local communities, was thrown into sharp focus 12 months ago when a cavalcade of motor and quad bikers – many in masks – sped along streets in Middlesbrough and Redcar in convoy, forcing drivers and pedestrians to take evasive action.

Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mark Webster was put on the spot among rising public anger at such antics and since then the force has conducted a number of operations, seizing and crushing illegal off-road bikes and successfully using drones to track their movements.

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Arrests have been made for traffic offences, while drugs have also been recovered – stolen bikes and quad bikes often being used in the course of criminal activity by some individuals.

Mr Turner said it was one of the issues he was contacted about most frequently and at a meeting recently with force chiefs he had scrutinised the work being carried out.

The Conservative PCC claimed officers had improved their ability to share intelligence and identify riders, and were working hard to build confidence among the public so they could be encouraged to report any incidents.

The force was described as presenting a comprehensive approach to its strategy to the PCC, based on the ‘4P’ approach – being prepare, prevent, protect and pursue.

Mr Turner said: “Off road bikes and the anti-social use of vehicles are among the biggest areas of concern residents raise with myself and my team.

“That’s why I made the issue the subject of a recent scrutiny meeting, to ask questions of the force on behalf of the public.

“Through this process, I have been assured that Cleveland Police is working hard to address the problem, evidenced through a refreshed operational strategy and an increase in the number of bike seizures.

“In just eight weeks Cleveland Police seized 190 nuisance bikes, with vehicles and riders being identified and tracked on an ongoing basis.”

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The PCC said intelligence from the public had been shared via his mobile phone policing app which had proved useful in tracking and tracing bikes and riders, and pinpointing off-roading hotspots.

He added: “It allows the public not only to make reports but supply the team with visual evidence.

“I want to thank the public of Cleveland for their support in reporting these issues. 

“I also want to reiterate that when the public and our partner agencies work alongside the police we can send a message to these illegal riders that their behaviour won’t be tolerated.”