Off road and quad bike riders along with 4x4 drivers intent on riding illegally on the Eston Hills yesterday (Sunday 28th April) were met by a large scale multi agency operation, which even involved the use of a drone for the first time!
And Chair of the Eston Hills Action Group, Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger paid tribute to officers from Cleveland Police’s Rural Crime Team (which includes the rural officer and rural volunteers), neighbourhood teams from Eston and Guisborough, motorcycle section, who joined colleagues from Cleveland Fire Brigade and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council for a co-ordinated day of action on Eston Hills and surrounding areas.
Operation Endurance, which comprises an on-going programme of education to local youngsters as well as enforcement to tackle antisocial and illegal off-road biking, saw three quad bike riders who had come from Darlington escorted off the hills, given £50 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) as well as Section 59 notices* and “very strong words of advice not to return” by police. One even had a 14 year old child riding pillion
The three quads (which were all road registered and insured with the riders having driving licenses) had been spotted on the partners’ arrival, along with a fourth which immediately made off from police and left the area.
And a man who was seen on a small pit bike with a three year old child on his lap had his bike seized and was also issued with a £50 FPN, and a section 59 notice.
Another man who was spotted on the blue off-road bike on Flatts Lane failed to stop for a police officer but he was soon caught by a waiting motorcycle section colleague further along the road. The bike was seized and inquiries into his driving licence and insurance are on-going.
Yet another off road bike which had been tracked by PCOSs was seized later that day, on the approach to Guisborough woods. The rider was summonsed for driving with no insurance, with no licence and for having no valid MOT.
Mr Coppinger said: “Yesterday’s operation brought together police, fire, and volunteers to tackle anti-social behaviour on Eston Hills. We have an on-going programme of education and enforcement, and will be using the police motorcycle unit, backed up by drones patrolling across the hills, to allow local residents of all ages to better enjoy this important landmark”.
Cleveland Police’s Rural Crime Prevention Officer Paul Payne added:
“Yesterday was another example of the partnership work we are carrying out to tackle the issues that are taking place on the Eston Hills and surrounding areas. I’d like to thank everyone involved yesterday for some fantastic results and the enthusiasm that they have for tackling rural crime and the problems associated with it.
"For the first time we had drone capacity to assist us in monitoring the hills, which proved invaluable and had the potential to identify both riders and number plates from a distance that should have those using the hills for illegal activity worried. The drone can and will be used again in the area so you have been warned that we are watching you.”
* Section 59 allows the police to give drivers and their vehicles a warning if they are reported to have used their vehicle in a manner which causes "alarm, distress or annoyance".
Posted on Monday 29th April 2019