STOLEN motorcycles and off-road bikes that have been ridden illegally were seized by police in an operation at the weekend.

The Neighbourhood Teams of Peterlee and Easington work with Durham Police’s award-winning Operation Endurance team at the weekend to deal with the nuisance of illegal off-road bikes.

Officers attended a number of calls and successfully retrieved stolen bikes and seized off-road bikes ridden illegally, which have been causing a nuisance to members of the public and carving up parts of the coastline, greens and paths.

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They also spoke to and educated numerous members of the public about the legalities around using motorised vehicles.

A force spokesperson said: “Can we again remind those that may have or be looking to purchase an off-road vehicle that it is illegal to ride a motorised vehicle without tax, insurance or MOT on public land or roads.

“If you do not have the ability to transport your vehicle legally to private land where they can be ridden with land-owner permission, then think twice before acquiring one.

“We WILL seize any bikes found ridden illegally and will take further action, where necessary against the riders.

“These vehicles not only cause a noise nuisance and are often ridden in a dangerous manner, but they cause a vast amount of damage to our coastline, fields, grassed areas and public walkways.”

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Anyone with information regarding off-road bikes is asked to contact police on 101 or to message the local team through Facebook.