Officers have seized a number of quad bikes as part of Operation Headlight, which is being run on Wearside in partnership with Sunderland City Council
Motorbike menaces have been warned they face potential jail time as police continue to crackdown on off-road riders.
Since New Year’s Day, officers have been alerted to a dozen incidents at Fulwell Quarry Nature Reserve in Sunderland involving riders tearing around on motorbikes, committing crime and acting in an anti-social manner.
Now, after a 49-year-old man was served with a summons to appear in court to answer dangerous driving offences, officers have reiterated that off-road bikers face severe punishments if they continue to endanger the lives of others.
Sergeant Sally College, of Northumbria Police, said: “Residents have raised concerns about anti-social behaviour linked to off-road bikes in that area and my message to them is one of reassurance.
“Through Operation Headlight, which we are running in partnership with Sunderland City Council, we will continue to take robust action against those riding around in this illegal and dangerous manner.
“They are not only putting their own lives in danger, but others too – and last summer a rider was jailed for colliding with a 16-year-old boy at Fulwell Quarry, who was left with serious leg injuries.
“Another suspected rider has just been served with a summons to attend court and answer charges of dangerous driving.
“This proactive activity is happening now and I would urge members of the public who know where these bikes are being stored overnight to report it.”
Launched in August 2020, Operation Headlight sees officers in the north of Sunderland targeting all forms of vehicle-related criminality including off-road riders, dangerous driving and motorbike-related thefts.
Cllr Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “It is unfortunate to see that despite a decrease in anti-social behaviour in our city, a small minority are continuing to show little respect and cause problems in the Fulwell Quarry Nature Reserve.
“We will continue to work with Northumbria Police on Operation Headlight to target this type of behaviour. A number of offenders have already been caught, and I commend the hard work that is being taken to ensure that those partaking in vehicle related criminality receive the appropriate action.
“Sunderland City Council takes all incidents of anti-social behaviour very seriously, and I encourage all residents who know of any incidents to get in touch and report it in confidence. We can and will take action on anyone who can be identified."
Anyone who is concerned about vehicle-related anti-social behaviour or crime in their area is asked to call 101.