Police have seized vehicles and launched a full investigation after a gang of motorcycle and quad bike riders took to Bedfordshire en masse yesterday (Sunday).
The force was called shortly after 12.20pm to reports of a large number of riders driving dangerously in the Caxton Road area of Bedford.
Officers and the police helicopter were deployed to track the riders, who made their way along the A6 and A421 towards Milton Keynes, the A1 at Sandy and various other locations in the north of the county.
Neighbouring force Thames Valley Police assisted in the operation to disrupt the group as they passed into nearby Buckinghamshire.
During the course of the incident, Bedfordshire Police arrested two people. They were later de-arrested, and had their vehicles seized by officers.
A further 11 vehicles were also seized as part of police enquiries on the ground, bringing yesterday’s total to 13, and a wider investigation has been launched to identify those who took part.
Sergeant Richard Barker from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit said: “We fully recognise that yesterday’s events had a huge impact on Bedfordshire residents and we hope they are satisfied with our response.
“They can rest assured that this is not the end of our involvement and we will be conducting aerial camera and CCTV enquiries, as well as speaking to witnesses and those with information, in order to see that these unruly riders are appropriately punished.
“We expect to be able to identify a number of offenders for road traffic-related offences and would appreciate the public’s help in sharing details of what took place on the day.
“Equally, if you know anyone who was involved in yesterday’s intimidating and reckless display of lawlessness, please contact me so we can ensure they pay the price for putting others’ lives in danger.”
Also during the weekend, the practice of riding off-road vehicles in public spaces in the south of Bedfordshire was disrupted by another overt Operation Meteor event.
The crackdown in Houghton Regis saw more than 20 Section 59 (warning) notices issued, four people reported for traffic offences and a further suspect identified, as well as two stolen vehicles recovered.
The operation utilised community policing teams from Houghton Regis, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard and Luton, as well as the Anti-Social Behaviour Team, CCTV investigators and the tri-force Roads Policing Unit.
Sergeant Mark Pugh, who led the operation, said: “We were pleased to get a positive reaction from the public during our latest Operation Meteor, with many including our frequent callers, horse riders, and pedestrians with children stopping to share information and thank us for our work.
“Nuisance riders continue to be a big problem for the whole community of Bedfordshire and we will continue to work both behind the scenes and overtly in our neighbourhoods to disrupt this dangerous practice, and make the county a safer place for residents.”
Anyone with information on yesterday’s events is asked to contact Sergeant Barker on 101, or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Anyone who can share information surrounding off-road biking in Houghton Regis and Central Bedfordshire is asked to call their community policing team, also using 101.