Joint partnership initiative to tackle illegal off-roading in South Wales
A new partnership agreement between Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and South Wales Police (SWP) has been announced today (22 March) to set up a new off-road motorcycle unit to help tackle the problem of illegal off-roading in South Wales.
The new off-road unit will enable officers to increase the number of patrols across South Wales, to help stop illegal off-roaders from damaging forests and putting people’s lives in danger.
The new unit will be funded for three years from NRW’s Proceeds of Crime pot.
The increase in patrols will help to reduce the damage to the environment and sensitive wildlife habitats caused by illegal off-roading, as well as improving the quality and safety of the environment for other forest users.
It will also help to reduce the damage to recreational assets such as mountain bike trails and aims to tackle the anti-social behaviour and crime linked to these means of access, such as raves, fuel and equipment theft and damage to harvesting sites.
David Liddy, Recreational Specialist Advisor for Natural Resources Wales said:
“This is a really important partnership, and we welcome the opportunity to be able to work with South Wales police and Local Authority to help tackle this antisocial activity
“When illegal off-roading and antisocial activities take place on our sites it can put people and nature at risk and the costs for the ensuing clean-up and repair are significant.
“We’ve seen a sharp increase over the last few years in the number of illegal off roading incidents across south Wales that have been reported to us, and in some instances has led to members of the public being verbally and even physically assaulted.
“This behaviour is wholly unacceptable, and we’re committed to working with our partners and communities to tackle this issue so that our forests and woodlands are a safe place for everyone to enjoy.”
Superintendent Marc Lamerton, South Wales Police Strategic lead for tackling anti-social off-road bikes said:
“We are committed to working with our local communities and partner agencies in order to tackle issues that have a detrimental effect on residents, and we always strive to implement long-term solutions with a problem-solving approach.
“Throughout the Spring and Summer, we will be deploying our newly formed Anti-Social Off Road Team who will work closely with NRW and local officers where we will take positive action against offenders.”
Anyone who sees off-roaders driving recklessly is urged to report it immediately.
To report illegal off-roading call police on 101.