Crackdown on Illegal ‘Off-Roaders’

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Work is ongoing to tackle the problem of off-road vehicles illegally damaging parts of the Sefton Coast.

Sefton Council, through its Coast and Countryside team, has been working with Merseyside Police and Natural England to deal with the issue over the last year.

Operations include night patrols when much of this anti-social activity has been taking place.

In the last few weeks, a number of formal cautions have been issued to vehicle owners by Merseyside Police.

On Saturday, February 22, officers arrested a 27-year-old man from the Halsall area of West Lancashire on suspicion of criminal damage and damaging a site of special scientific interest without notice.

A report had been received that an off-road vehicle was stuck in the dunes off Weld Road. Officers went on to seize the vehicle.

The Sefton Coast has been particularly targeted at the Ravenmeols Dunes Local Nature Reserve at Formby and Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve at Birkdale.

“Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools, Families and Leisure, said: “The Sefton Coast is one of the most important wildlife sites in the UK and we are doing our very best to tackle this illegal activity.

“Our Coast and Countryside team deal with many incidents like this during the year and will continue to work with the Police and Natural England to deal with this increase in illegal off-roading.”

Darren Wilson, Neighbourhood Inspector for Southport, said: “The inconsiderate actions of a small minority of people are causing significant nuisance in the area, harming wildlife and spoiling it for the law-abiding majority.

“Residents have told us that they are concerned about nuisance and we are working closely with our partners, including Sefton Council, and the local community to take robust action to tackle the problem.”

“Extra police patrols will be taking place in a bid to halt these problems and allow the local wildlife and other users to continue enjoying the reserve and the surrounding areas in peace.

“People who use off-road vehicles in a dangerous and anti-social manner risk having their vehicle seized, or crushed, under police powers.”

Anyone with information about illegal off road activities can call police via the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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