Officers across Bargoed, Rhymney and New Tredegar have recently carried out operations to tackle the illegal use of off-road vehicles in the area – and are now calling on Gwent communities to help keep streets and the counrtyside safe.
Operation Harley – Gwent Police’s response to targeting off-road vehicles that damage land, cause disturbances in communities and put other road users and pedestrians at risk – has been in place since 2020.
Since then, the force's rural crime team, neighbourhood officers, special constables and more have worked with partner agencies during regular operations to respond to neighbourhood concerns and address the problem.
Using specialist vehicles and drones, operations have seen motorcycles, quad bikes and mopeds seized for a variety of offences, including being used without insurance, registration or a licence, or for being driven dangerously or in an anti-social manner.
The most recent operation in the area saw seven vehicles seized and one warning issued. And now, off the back of feedback provided by residents in the area, Caerphilly north's neighbourhood policing inspector is reiterating the force’s commitment to protecting communities from the damaging effects of illegal off-roading.
Inspector Thompson said, “Thank you to everyone who took the time to speak to us in our recent Your Voice survey. One of the main concerns for residents in our area was the anti-social and dangerous use of off-road vehicles.
“Illegal off-roading can cause extensive damage to land, wildlife and natural habitats, and the anti-social use of off-road vehicles can also have a wider impact on our neighbourhoods and frighten residents. It’s not just limited to noise nuisance on smaller roads (even though that can be a real issue); it can pose significant risks for other motorists and pedestrians.
“Our operations, which take place year-round, are guided by information gathered through our investigations, but also by information the public has provided in their reports. That’s why it’s really important people affected by these issues come forward and talk to us.
“Descriptions of the bikes, including the colour and make, and descriptions of the riders, along with information on where they’re being ridden and at what time, allows us to build a picture of the offending – which improves our operations and allows us to make our roads, streets and countryside safer.”
Reporting anti-social behaviour in your community
PC Stuart Turley, Caerphilly north’s crime and disorder reduction officer, added, “If you’ve seen people in your town using vehicles illegally or in an anti-social manner, please report it to us.
“You can let us know by reporting online, via social media or by calling our control room on 101. If you’d prefer to remain anonymous but would still like to let us know that the use of off-road vehicles is affecting you, however, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The public can also submit evidence of anti-social driving through Operation Snap, a joint scheme with GoSafe that encourages the public to submit footage straight to the police by visiting gosafesnap.wales.