23 May 2008
Illegal off-road riding and vehicle crime were just some of the targets of an operation in the Gelligaer Common area on Sunday 4th May.
Members of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams for Rhymney, Bargoed and Ystrad Mynach took part in the operation, along with the Gwent Police Wildlife Officer, the Air Support Unit, the Gelligaer Common Warden, officers from the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) team, the DVLA and the Forestry Commission.
Caerphilly County Borough Council's Countryside Department, Community Safety Wardens and CCTV van were also heavily involved, patrolling the common area as part of the operation.
- 12 Section 59's were issued (written warnings telling people what they are doing is illegal. Anyone who receives two of these notices within 12 months can have their vehicle seized).
- 16 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued for various offences including driving without wearing a seatbelt, driving whilst using a mobile phone and for various vehicle defects.
- 1 vehicle was seized.
- 4 people were arrested (two for possession of cannabis, one for a public order offence and one for breach of the peace).
- 4 stop searches were conducted.
- 2 drivers were caught driving without a driving licence.
- 1 driver was caught driving without insurance.
In addition, the DVLA joined the operation to catch those who were driving vehicles that weren't taxed. In just one day, they caught 56 unlicensed vehicles being driven in the area.
Rhymney Neighbourhood Sergeant Andy O'Keefe helped to organise the operation. He said: "It was quite clear from Sunday's operation that the number of people we found riding off-road illegally on the Gelligaer Common had reduced significantly, when compared to previous operations we have held in the area. We were pleased with this and hope that people are learning that they cannot ride on land without the landowners' permission, and this includes areas such as common land.
"However, we made it quite clear to the 12 riders that were stopped that what they were doing was illegal and dangerous, posing a threat to other people using the common area such as walkers, as well as wildlife. We will continue to run operations such as this with our partners to target the minority that are continuing to ride illegally."
Rhymney Inspector Mark Smith, said: "We were very pleased with the results of the operation, which not only dealt with illegal off-road riders, but also with a range of other crimes that were being committed in the countryside. By working with our partners we can share our expertise and intelligence to help catch those who are breaking the law. We will continue to educate off-road riders about the legalities of riding and the risks that they pose to those around them when operating illegally."
Caerphilly County Borough Council's Community Safety Manager, Howard Rees said, "It is targeted operations such as this that really emphasise to the very small minority of people who choose to act illegally, that their behaviour will not be tolerated. By working closely with our partner agencies, including Gwent Police and the DVLA, we are pooling our resources and expertise to maximum effects, which is evident from the clear success of Sunday's operation. Ensuring the safety of the public is our main priority, and through this and indeed future operations we will continue to ensure that this is the case."
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