A crackdown on rogue bikers is being hailed a success after a stolen motorbike worth almost £5,000 was recovered.

During its first week of full-time operation, a motorcycle team at Peterlee police station has dealt with about 20 incidents involving nuisance riding in the Easington area.

It was set up on a part-time basis two years ago with funding from the Community Safety Partnership.

The team aimed to deal with the high number of complaints about people riding motorcyles on cycle ways, public spaces and coastal areas.

Although there is a motorcycle team at Durham Constabulary's headquarters, at Aykley Heads, Dur-ham, it was felt that Easington needed its own.

Three officers were trained to use off-road bikes to enable them to respond to incidents and, following recent additional funding, they are now able to operate full-time.

The team has already recovered a purpose-built off-road bike worth £4,700, which was stolen from Stanley.

Sergeant Dave Young, of Easington district's anti- social behaviour unit, said: "If the team hadn't been out on the old mineral works looking for people up to no good, they wouldn't have come across this."