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Illegal scrambler riding will lead to injuries – park manager warns

PUBLISHED: 07:06 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 07:43 22 September 2017

Residents are calling for tougher action on the motorcyclists. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Residents are calling for tougher action on the motorcyclists. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

The manager of a Suffolk park where illegal scrambler racing is said to have been “terrorising” residents has warned that someone will be “badly hurt” unless action is taken.

Belstead Brook Park
 is one of around 50 parks managed by Greenways Countryside Project. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYBelstead Brook Park is one of around 50 parks managed by Greenways Countryside Project. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Greenways Countryside Project’s James Baker said there had been problems with riders in Belstead Brook Park throughout his 23 years in the role, but it was now “out of hand”. People living near to the park have called for tougher action and bikes to be confiscated, saying the daily noise was making their lives a misery.

Mr Baker said his main concern was for the safety of the park’s legitimate users.

“People walk there with their family or dogs and our worry has always been that someone will be badly hurt,” he added. “I don’t want that to be through any lack of trying to solve the problem.”

Several years ago a meeting was held between interested parties, including landowners, councils and police to address the problem.

Mr Baker said the landowners told police the bikers had no rights to use the land, which enabled officers to take stronger action and, in some cases, confiscate bikes to be crushed.

“When it becomes known as a place where the police will crush your bike, fairly quickly the problem dies away,” he added.

Wherstead residents and the parish council want to see another meeting held so similar action can be taken, claiming the problem has returned worse than ever.

Mr Baker agreed the troubles had escalated, saying the park’s legitimate visitors felt threatened by bikers,

He has dismissed proposals raised by motorcycle enthusiasts that the problem could be solved by allowing authorised riding to take place at agreed times.

“It all comes down to the safety of the people legitimately using the country park and the two things simply don’t mix,” he said.

Insp Andy Pursehouse said: “I would like to remind people that our parks, recreational grounds and open spaces are not race tracks and that whilst bikes can be ridden on private property, the rider must first obtain the owner’s consent and they must not cross over any public footpaths.

“Those found to be riding in an anti-social and reckless manner will, at best, be offered safety advice; at worse, you could be subject to formal action.”

Anyone with information is asked to visit www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something or call 101.

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