In the constituency I am fighting to protect a much-loved green space at Silverwood Nature Reserve, where drivers of off-road vehicles are causing damage, anti-social behaviour and threatening wildlife. In Manvers, I’ve been working for months to try to stop quads and off-road bikes tearing up footpaths, the Trans Pennine Trail and the golf course. Similar problems elsewhere in the constituency have been reported to me as well.
This is impacting council resources and police time, not to mention causing intimidation and disturbance to members of the public.
South Yorkshire Police and our Police and Crime Commissioner have responded by creating a dedicated off-road motorbike team, but they are frustrated by the limits of current legislation which means that if the owner of a seized vehicle pays a recovery fee they simply get their vehicle back.
The leaders of the four councils in South Yorkshire, our South Yorkshire Mayor and our Police and Crime Commissioner have written to the Home Secretary calling for a new approach to the anti-social behaviour and crime linked to off-road motorbikes and quads.
I have done the same, and requested a meeting with her.
A new system of licensing would determine that the vehicle is owned for a legitimate purpose – for work or sport, for example – and specify where the vehicle could be used. Police could seize unlicensed vehicles or those being driven illegally and dispose of them.
I will share the result of the survey with the Home Secretary, South Yorkshire Police and our local councils. I hope it will help me make the case that stricter conditions around ownership and use should now be brought, giving police adequate powers to seize vehicles being used illegally.
Thank you for completing my survey. I’ll keep in touch with you as my campaign progresses.