NORTHUMBRIA Police have teamed up with rural organisations to help tackle rogue off-road riders in the district.

Following a spate of off-road anti-social behaviour throughout Tynedale, police have set up a multi-agency response with partners including Northumberland County Council, Forestry England, Natural England, Northumberland National Park Authority, Trail Riders Fellowship and Green Lane Association.

This included Operation Harley on February 2, where high visibility patrols were conducted in Otterburn and Kielder Forest, where officers spoke to individuals involved and educated them on the dangers of being on restricted roads.

As part of ongoing activity to tackle the problem, officers are also working closely with the local Trail Riders Fellowship, to educate riders about where is safe and legal to ride as well as deter the minority of riders who are causing disruption and damage to protected forest and moorland areas.

Kielder, Slaley, Redesdale and Allenheads are some of the areas being hit by problems, and Neighbourhood Inspector Pam Bridges said that continued work was vital.

“It is important we work alongside partners to tackle this issue effectively and efficiently,” she said.

“We want to reassure communities that this sort of disorder will not be tolerated on or off our roads and we will continue to carry out police operations and initiatives to tackle these incidents and ensure those responsible are dealt with accordingly.

“If a member of the public does see any unlawful off-road vehicle disorder, then please note as much information as possible whilst staying safe and avoiding any confrontation.

“Try and get any registration plates, descriptions of vehicles or people involved and specific locations and where possible record any offences.”

Alex MacLennan, public affairs manager for the North-East for Forestry England, is part of the multi-agency response.

He added: “It is frustrating the time and effort that goes into managing the Northumberland countryside, as we all work to encourage responsible tourism for the countryside, for it to be damaged by those who have a disregard for any consideration of the landscape and wildlife habitats.

“Forestry England supports access into the forest through organised events which protect the landscape and again this year there are several motorbike events taking place legally, but all of those are permitted through detailed planning in advance for sustainable events to take place.”