Nuisance off-road bikes could be destroyed in days in Labour's antisocial behaviour crackdown

Labour has announced a crackdown on antisocial behaviour in which police would have new powers to crush nuisance off-road bikes they seize within days
-Credit: (Image: The Labour Party)

Police forces will be given new powers to crush dirt and quad bikes being used antisocially within days of them being seized in plans for a crackdown on antisocial behaviour outlined this week by the Labour Party. If Labour are elected in the general election on July 4, the policy would also include tougher on-the-spot fines which can be issued to offenders.

The Labour Party has set out details of a crackdown on antisocial behaviour on Britain’s streets, including the new measures to tackle nuisance off-road biking and plans to combat drug dealing affecting local communities. Under the plans, police will be given new powers to crush dirt and quad bikes within days of them being seized.

Read more: "They are churning the paths up" - Concerns over off-road bikes in County Durham

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Now, bikes seized by the police have to be impounded for several weeks before they can be disposed of. The delay leads to costs, which are partially recovered by the police by selling the bikes at auction - which can mean they end up back on the streets again in a vicious circle.

At present, on-the-spot fines for antisocial off-road bike use, or for ignoring a police officer’s instruction to stop when riding one, can be set as low as £100. Labour says it will increase these fines following a consultation to set the precise level.

⁠Emma Foody, Labour's candidate for Cramlington and Killingworth, said: "People are sick and tired of the off-road bike menace which causes damage to land and leaves people feeling scared and intimidated at the same time. This is a no nonsense approach to help Northumbria Police deal with the problem quickly by crushing bikes used antisocially in just 48 hours rather than the current situation of having to hold them for two weeks.

"Not only will it mean police don't have to go to the expense and time of storing them but they won't get back into the hands of repeat offenders."

Across England & Wales, 20 million people experienced or witnessed antisocial behaviour in the last year, with around six million people reporting local drug dealing and drug use. The figures are the highest they have been for a decade.

The plans announced this week also include tougher powers to shut down drug dens. Labour say they will extend closure notices for drug dens from 48 hours to 72 hours, giving police more time to get drug dens shut down at court.

Yvette Cooper, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said: "Noisy off-road bikes speeding round local streets and neighbourhoods, deliberately disturbing and intimidating local residents, are a nightmare for communities. Yet too often the culprits get away with it again and again, and even when the police take action, the bikes still end up back on the streets.

"Cracking down on antisocial behaviour will be one of next Labour government's first steps because everyone should feel safe on their streets. Labour will give police the powers they need to take illegal, dangerous and antisocial bikes off the streets for good, as well as tough measures to close drug dens.

"We will also rebuild the neighbourhood police that has been dismantled by the Tories and put police back on the beat where they belong.”