Off-road quads and bikers terrorising farmland and killing animals’ say farmers

Police bosses have heard how some motorbike and quad riders terrorise farmland in Doncaster ‘destroying crops, breaking down gates’ and even killing animals.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 5th March 2021, 5:00 am

Police & Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings met with farmers across rural parts of north Doncaster remotely and heard of the devastating off-road bikes and quads have been causing.

Farmers told the PCC bikes and quads have been coming onto land, disturbing wildlife, breaking structures such as fences and gates and in some instances killing animals like hares and deer.

Officers from the neighbourhood team and the police roads team also spoke at the meeting and said they had responded by creating a full-time police team of bikers with some early success.

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Quad bike

The meeting comes following a successful operation in Hatfield where a number of motocross bikes were seized with some fines and arrests.

The operation was mounted last Saturday following repeated complaints about off-road bikes and quads using land at the end of Mill Hill Road.

South Yorkshire Police’s off-road bike team joined forces with local officers from the Doncaster East neighbourhood policing team and Doncaster Council officials to run the operation.

A fixed wing police airplane was also involved, to monitor activity from the air.

A total of 22 off road vehicles – 21 bikes and a quad – were seized in one day, which is a South Yorkshire Police record.

A further 30 warnings were issued and over 50 fines were handed out for breaches of Covid-19 legislation.

The commissioner confirmed additional funding had been put in the budget for this work to be expanded during this year and more officers were being trained to deal with rural crimes.

A ‘Rural Crime Team’ is also being established that will be based with the Mounted Team at Ring Farm, Barnsley.

Dr Billings said: “The farming community should not have to endure this kind of wanton vandalism and criminality.

“It affects people’s well-being and presents a serious threat to livelihoods. I will certainly think hard about the ideas the farmers put forward and what more we can do to assist.

“I would like to thank everyone at the meeting. We had a very productive and useful discussion and have said we will meet again in a few weeks to see what progress we have been able to make.”