POLICE officers are beginning to crack down on off-road bike-based crime.

The bikers can cause a nuisance and are also linked to serious crimes.

Off-road biking crime is on the rise and police are now using plain clothed officers in unmarked cars to catch the offenders out. They are part of a full-time Off-Road Bike Intervention Team.

Road Policing Inspector Craig Clifton said off-road bikes are one of the biggest concerns to communities.

Inspector Clifton said: “Tackling motorcycle criminality doesn’t stop with that team. “Specialist roads policing proactive officers and teams from across the force are also tackling the associated crimes and antisocial behaviour. “We hear time and time again from our communities that the riders are ‘not causing any harm’ or ‘just having fun’, but this isn’t the case.”

Police believe there has been a rise in off-road bikes being used to carry out serious crime.

Insp Clifton said: “The riders have the capability to cause serious or fatal harm to pedestrians and other road users, as well as damaging infrastructure and farmers’ livelihoods.

“As always, we continue to clamp down on those who use the road network, in whatever vechile that may be in to commit criminality. “We will be firm, we will be strong, as this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”