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Off -road Vehicle Nuisance

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 noise.

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 off-limits.

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 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 attention.
  • 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 registration plates
  • 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 aggressive act.
  • It can also cause noise nuisance, especially if taking place at night in residential areas.3 Red Arrows

What are off-road vehicles?

  • Moto Cross
  • Trial and Enduro bikes
  • Mini-motos
  • Quad bikes
  • Electric scooters
  • Buzzboards
  • Gopeds
  • 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

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What does the law say?

It's against the law in the UK to ride hoverboards, minibikes (or 'mini motos'), motorised scooScrambler Bike Seisure 8/7/15ters 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 number plates.
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.

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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 &  location
  • 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

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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 be!

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 destroyed.

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Ready to report?

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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. 

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If you don't have a social media account, you can report information about off-road vehicles using their online reporting form  here: Merseyside Police

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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.

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If you don't want to provide your details you can also report anonymously to Crimestoppers on: 0800 555 111