Off-road vehicle nuisance is a problem that is affecting
the lives of many. Whilst some people regard this kind of vehicle
use as harmless fun - regular antisocial vehicle use can have a
wider impact on a neighbourhood or community than simply nuisance
Your help is needed to identify who is responsible for riding
the off-road vehicles illegally & who owns them - so the police
can then take action.
Here you will find a guide to what's legal, what's not and
what tools are available to help ensure off-road is
What's the problem?
- Often riders are not in full control of their vehicle, have no
riding skills and do not give surroundings their full
- Drivers and riders also risk injuring themselves, other road
users, cyclists and pedestrians.
- They are not legal for the road - they have no lights/horns or
- They are often used for criminal activities.
- The illegal vehicle use can lead to criminal damage of
roads, other vehicles and surrounding property.
- Performing stunts and tricks such as doughnuts and wheelies,
whether on public roads or in car parks, can be dangerous to both
the driver or rider and bystanders & is not permitted unless
part of an organised event approved by St.Helens Council.
- Loud noise from engines and music, and deliberately creating
large amounts of exhaust or tyre smoke can also be seen as an
- It can also cause noise nuisance, especially if taking place at
night in residential areas.
What are off-road
- Moto Cross
- Trial and Enduro bikes
- Quad bikes
- Electric scooters
- Or any other mechanically propelled vehicle which is built for
use off-road and should not be used on public roads and pavements
or in public space
What does the law say?
It's against the law in the UK to ride hoverboards, minibikes
(or 'mini motos'), motorised scooters such as GoPeds and hoverboards on both
public roads and pavements. The same applies to 'trail' bikes,
three-wheeled bikes and quads unless they are displaying valid
These kind of vehicles may only be used on private roads or land
with the road or land-owner's permission.
While quad bikes, three-wheeled bikes, trail bikes and some other
two-wheeled vehicles are built for off-road use, it is against the
law to ride them in public parks or on publicly-owned land without
permission of St.Helens Council.
As with unlicensed powered vehicles, these can only be used on
private roads or land with the road or land-owner's permission.
Although we are not aware of anywhere in Merseyside
where off-road vehicles can be ridden legally, the Auto Cycling
Union is the governing body for motorcycle sport - visit their website, where you can search
for the closest legal tracks and riding clubs.
What you can do?
If you see the vehicles in action on roads in St.Helens, or
anywhere else in Merseyside, report them immediately.
Information which is helpful to the police includes:
- Where & when it happened: dates, times &
- What the rider and vehicle looked like; descriptions &
names of anyone involved in possible
- Where the vehicles are being stored if you know &
whether they are being used regularly in your area
- Any CCTV or dashcam footage you may have
What can the police do?
Although the police are only able to track off-road
vehicles in very extreme circumstances and under strict laws,
it is a much safer for them to use a wide range of other weapons
they have at their disposal. These are not
always immediately obvious - and this can sometimes
be why people can have misconceptions that officers on the ground
aren't responding - when they certainly will
These tools include force helicopters - one of the most
effective weapons against off-road vehicles. The "eye in the sky"
can catch high-quality footage of joyrides - whether they are on
our roads, in our parks or along our canals.
The police also receive support from the National Police
Air Service where possible - offering a safe way to track bikers
through Merseyside's streets, often without them even realising.
CCTV networks can also be used to capture high quality images of
off-road trouble makers - and is often responsible for some of the
best evidence used against reckless riders.
If someone is caught riding their vehicle illegally,
they will be prosecuted and their vehicle will be seized and
Ready to report?
If you have information about off-road vehicles, simply contact
Merseyside Police on their social media pages. Tweet @MerPolCC on
twitter or direct message them on the
Merseyside Police Contact Centre Facebook page.
If you don't have a social media account, you can report
information about off-road vehicles using their online
reporting form here:
If you prefer to provide information over the phone - call the non
emergency number on :101
But if you see the vehicles in action, dial 999! So the police can
respond to the nuisance immediately.
If you don't want to provide your details you can also report
anonymously to Crimestoppers on: 0800 555