Police patrols are to be stepped up across the borough in response to concerns over the illegal use of quad bikes and scramblers.
Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and local police have received an increased number of complaints from residents and community groups regarding the use of off-road vehicles in parks, on private land and green spaces.
Information leaflets have been distributed to provide advice and guidance in relation to laws and safety with regard to the use of quads and scramblers.
Councillor Billy Webb, who initiated the campaign following complaints from residents in Rathcoole said: “Individuals who engage in this activity show disregard for law-abiding members in their communities.
“With the onset of brighter nights, this problem may get worse and I would call on anyone seeing quads or scramblers causing annoyance or damage to contact the PSNI or Crimestoppers.”
Police in Newtownabbey are reminding the public that they will take action to curb the nuisance and dangers associated with the use of off-road scramblers and quads in public areas.
Whilst the use of such motorised vehicles as a leisure activity can be both exciting and fun, if used inappropriately, it can be dangerous and against the law in certain circumstances.
Inspector Alan McKeown added: “Quads and some scramblers do not comply with Construction and Use Regulations and Vehicle Safety Standards and therefore are restricted to ‘off-road’ use only. This does not mean they can be driven anywhere ‘off-road’.
“These vehicles should only be driven on private land where the landowner has given permission and should not be driven on pavements, roads, public property or parks; this includes green grass areas and public paths.”
Inspector McKeown further emphasised that riders must be aware of the minimum requirements by law. Vehicles designed for use on roads should have the appropriate equipment fitted such as lights and number plates and the driver/rider should be the holder of a suitable driving licence and insurance.
“If vehicles are not designed for the road and not insured, they can only be used on private lands with the permission of the landowner.”
The PCSP and police are urging people to consider others living in their community or the areas where these vehicles are being used.
“Parents too are asked to play their part by considering how their children use these vehicles. No parent wants their child brought home for any wrong-doing, but if necessary, officers can refer an individual to the PSNI’s youth diversion officer for prosecution purposes. Police also have the power to seize these vehicles and will not hesitate in doing so in the interests of public safety,” the Inspector continued.
“Anyone who witnesses this type of activity in the area or who has any information is asked to contact their local Police on 0845 600 8000.
“Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”