‘We will catch you’, police warn joyriders at Havant Thicket

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JOYRIDERS who ride dangerously across a beauty spot are being warned by police: ‘We will catch you’.

The police beats of Havant and South of Butser are launching a summer of zero tolerance against nuisance vehicles that are plaguing Havant Thicket and the surrounding areas.

Police will be patrolling and using a mobile CCTV van at Havant Thicket. (l-r) PC Terry Burke and PC John Waltham. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (141781-3)

Police will be patrolling and using a mobile CCTV van at Havant Thicket. (l-r) PC Terry Burke and PC John Waltham. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (141781-3)

The serene countryside should be used by walkers, horse riders and cyclists.

But police are repeatedly called out – sometimes every day during the summer – to reports of people riding off-road vehicles, motorcycles, quadbikes and mini-motos at great speed.

Extra patrols are being put in by police and a CCTV van will be placed at various locations to gather evidence.

And police say they need the public’s help to catch offenders by providing detailed descriptions of riders, bikes and any addresses that may be linked.

PC Terry Burke, from South of Butser police, said: ‘The offenders have no regard for theirs or anyone else’s safety.

‘Police have seen an increase in complaints of riders going through built-up areas on roads and pavements and through green areas to get to the thicket.

‘The majority of these are uninsured and riders often do not wear protective clothing. They ride at speed where they risk causing serious injury or damage.’

Police are able to seize vehicles from the offenders.

PC John Waltham, from Havant police, said: ‘Last year police successfully seized a number of vehicles which were crushed.

‘Only last week an off-road motorcycle was seen by officers being ridden on a road in Leigh Park and had fresh mud on the tyres. Due to no insurance it was seized.’

He added: ‘Police will not tolerate this behaviour, they will accept no excuses. Action will be taken against those who continue to ride off road vehicles of any kind through built up areas, on road, pavements and through the Thicket.

‘We will not have the safety of the public put at risk.’

The crackdown was welcomed by walkers at the thicket.

Michael Wake, 56, of London Road, Cowplain, said: ‘It’s a lovely rural place and it shouldn’t be ridden on by the youngsters. They should have dedicated places for it.’

Anyone with information can call 101 or email leigh.park.snt@hampshire.pnn.police.uk or see Twitter @LeighParkPolice.