Safespace campaign targets illegal riders


St Helens Council, Merseyside Police and their partner agencies are warning quad and motorbike riders to stay away from parks and public open spaces.

Lighter nights and warmer weather have triggered an increase in off-road vehicle nuisance in some of the borough's parks. But bike owners run the risk of their machines being confiscated and crushed if they are caught.


Along with anti-social behaviour, this year's Safespace Campaign aims to stamp out the activities of the selfish minority who spoil things for law-abiding members of the community. Posters throughout the borough's parks will reinforce the message.


St Helens Council's Cabinet Member for Environmental Protection and Safer Communities, Councillor Richard McCauley said: "The Safespace campaign is an annual event, but this year there will be a real focus on parks and other areas where residents have raised concerns about anti-social behaviour and off-road vehicle nuisance.


"Riding any motorbike, quad bike or mini-moto off-road on public land, parks, pavements, waste ground or footpath in St Helens is illegal - and will not be tolerated. Last years Safespace campaign removed 10 mini motos off the streets and 16 warnings were issued."


Although the campaign has real teeth, the aim of Safespace is to reduce anti-social behaviour and vehicle nuisance by engaging with young people and giving them the opportunity to take part in free diversionary activities provided by St Helens Council's Youth Services over the summer break.


Residents can help keep the borough's parks and open spaces safe this summer by reporting anti-social behaviour. Simply contact Merseyside Police on the non-emergency number on 101 or St.Helens Council Safer Communities Anti-Social Behaviour Unit on 01744 673114.


The aims of the Safespace campaign fit neatly with the forthcoming Love Parks Week (21 to 29 July), which will see a host of events planned at local parks - ranging from pond dipping at the Duckeries to a charity rounders match at Ruskin Drive. For more information about activities contact the council's Ranger Service on 01744 815586.