We went along to a meeting last week in Stocksbridge where the illegal use of motocross and quad bikes in Wharncliffe and Greno woods discussed. A couple of local Police officers who are spearheading the work against these users came along for the discussion. It was a good meeting that continued for much longer than planned. In addition to Ride Sheffield there were a number of other mountain bikers there, along with representatives of local walking groups and the Stocksbridge Community Forum.
The first thing to say is that Police officers are obviously very keen to help us work through this problem and are doing what they can. There are obviously other demands on their resources and there limits to what they can do to find people but there is a definite desire to solve the problem.
The critical things are that the sign in the photo must be displayed at entry points in to the woods, proving that a motocrosser/quad bike has seen one of these signs on the way in is critical to the ability to enforce the law and confiscate the bike when they are caught. With a few of other mountain bikers at the meeting we are going to work with the Forestry Commission to monitor these signs and replace them if (or more likely when as the illegal users know their importance) they are missing. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re a regular woodland user and keen to help out with this.
The thing that everyone can help with is the reporting of any illegal use they see in Wharncliffe or Greno woods to the Police. The more information they have on use, the more they can find patterns of use and the easier it is for them to justify requests for extra resources etc to mount operations on the problem. So if you are ever in the woods and see illegal motorised vehicles in their please report it, in the first instance to the Police via 101. Let them have as much information as you can, location, how many you have seen, time and whatever other information you can give them. If they are road legal bikes with number plates then so much the better if you can see these to pass on as well. If you can get photos or videos of them WITHOUT putting yourself in any danger then that is even better still. Let the guys on the 101 system know that it is anti social behaviour and make sure you are given a reference number (without one it may not be logged properly).
If you can’t get an answer on 101 or aren’t sure that it’s been handled correctly then the other thing you can do is email us at email@example.com with all the information you have including photos or videos and we’ll collate it and pass it on directly to the officers leading the work.
It may not be an instant solution but hopefully with a little time and support from us the Police will be able to tackle the prob