The Mole Valley off road motorbike team has secured more than 12 prosecutions, handed out 20-30 warnings, made 100 engagements with off road drivers/riders and achieved four vehicle crushings since the launch of the pilot project in November 2011.
These include the destruction of three ‘pit bikes’ – small motorbikes without index plates and uninsurable on public highways – that were being ridden illegally in Beggars Lane, Gomshall.
The team of PC Mark Trezise, PC Jason Woods and PC Dominic Loraine, have made numerous routine patrols as well as specific operations on the BOATs with National Trust and Forestry Commission officers over the five months of the pilot.
In a report from Mole Valley Neighbourhood Sgt Simon Cox, he said: “The bikes have already proved their worth on a number of occasions – they have assisted in dealing with poaching and public order incidents where four wheeled vehicles could not access the area, as well as responding to calls in the rural areas. They have proved to be an excellent engagement tool for the police – for example during Dorkings Gala Night the teenagers in the town were very keen to speak with the officer on the bike ( but not so much with our foot patrols!). The team have even appeared in Landrover Owners International magazine and Farmers Weekly.”
At the March meeting of the Surrey Hills Off Road Working Group, PC Trezise reported that the number of complaints from the public about antisocial riding and driving on BOATs had declined sharply. Stuart McLachlan, from Coldharbour, said the patrols were brilliant.
The Mole Valley pilot may need to be extended due to technical problems with the bikes, but Chairman David Wright said the scheme had already proved so effective that he was keen to extend it into Guildford Borough. He reported that PC Matt Taylor, who has taken over from Nick Sharpe covering the Gomshall/Shere area, was especially interested in taking part in the scheme and PC John Hockley, Surrey Police Rural Communications Officer, was also supportive.
Surrey Hills Board