Tuesday 8th December, Bedwas Police Station, 9am - 5pmTuesday 8th December, Graig-y-Rhacca Police Station, 9am - 8pmWednesday 9th December, Bedwas Police Station, 9am - 5pmWednesday 9th December, Lansbury Park Police Station, 9am - 8pmFriday 11th December, Bedwas Police Station, 9am - 5pmMonday 14th December, Bedwas Police Station, 12 noon - 8pmMonday 14th December, Lansbury Park Police Station, 9am - 8pmTuesday 15th December, Bedwas Police Station, 12 noon - 8pmTuesday 15th December, Graig-y-Rhacca Police Station, 12noon -5pmThursday 17th December, Bedwas Police Station, 12 noon - 5pm
07 December 2009>
Gwent Police has teamed up with Communities First and Halfords, to offer free bicycles as part of a new initiative to reduce the number of off-road bikes being illegally ridden around the area.
Lansbury Park and Graig-y-Rhacca residents are being given the opportunity to have a free mountain bike and accessories, in return for giving up their off-road motorbikes, trikes or quad bikes.
The illegal use of off-road bikes in both housing estates is an issue that residents often raise at the local PACT (Partnerships and Communities Together) meetings. It is currently a PACT priority for the St. James ward, as well as the Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen ward.
The scheme is being made possible thanks to funding received from the Government's Community Cashback scheme and Communities First.Community Cashback provides funding for worthwhile community projects, using 'cashback' from criminals' seized assets, such as confiscated cash or property. Halfords is also supplying the equipment at a reduced price.
It's simple to take part. Everyone who surrenders their mechanically propelled vehicle (such as an off-road motorbike), will be given a voucher, entitling them to a mountain bike, helmet, cable and lock, bicycle lights, puncture repair kit, riding mitts, high visibility arm and leg bands, as well as a three year bike care plan - all for free! Vouchers will be issued on a first come, first serve basis.
The residents from these two Communities First areas will be able to take part in the amnesty over of a two-week period. They will need to surrender their vehicle and pick up their vouchers during one of the designated slots:
Residents in these areas will receive information through their letterbox over the next week, to help explain the full set of terms and conditions.
For example residents must be able to provide proof of address for either Graig-y-Rhacca or Lansbury Park and the vehicle must be in working order. Anyone wanting to take part in the amnesty must be over the age of 18, or be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Each application will be considered on an individual basis and residents will need to provide proof of purchase. Toys will not be accepted and every vehicle that is surrendered will be crushed.
Sergeant Gareth Jones from the Bedwas Neighbourhood Policing Team said, "Residents from these areas have often highlighted that the illegal use of off-road bikes on local green spaces and along pavements and paths is a real concern to them. These machines can be very dangerous, posing a risk to the riders and local community, as well as disturbing the quality of life for residents. We have already seized numerous bikes using our powers and issued warnings. This amnesty is another way of helping to get these bikes off the road.
"We often find that people buy these motorbikes or quad bikes without fully understanding the law surrounding where and when they can be used.When they realise how limited this actually is, they often regret ever buying them, particularly if they end up receiving a Section 59 notice from us. We don't believe this scheme has ever been tried before, and we hope that local residents see it as a great opportunity to get themselves or their child a legal bike and safety equipment, without spending an extra penny."
Wendy Griffin, Chair of the Van Communities First Partnership said, "We are pleased to be supporting this campaign, which could potentially have a number of benefits for the community. Not only will it hopefully rid the area of off-road motorbikes that are being used illegally and anti-socially, but it will provide pedal bicycles for the community, to help improve their health and wellbeing."
Rob Bailey, Chair of the Graig-y-Rhacca Communities First Partnership added, "It's a great new initiative and one that we don't believe has been tried anywhere else before. I hope that the local community will embrace it, and see it as an opportunity to work together to help improve this issue."
Off-road bikes, quad bikes or mini-motos can only be ridden legally on private land with the permission of the landowner. They cannot be used on streets, common land, moorland, forestry land, playing fields or in parks as well as footpaths, bridleways or byways.
They can only be ridden on local roads if the rider is: -
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- over the age of 16
- is wearing a helmet
- has road tax and insurance
- has a registration plate
- has an MOT (if applicable)
- has at least a provisional driving licence
- has working lights and number plates
- has undergone compulsory basic training