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Police launch crackdown on illegal off-road driving in north-east forests

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Police have issued a warning to people not to drive off-road as a bid to tackle the illegal use of vehicles within forests.

Officers are working with forest owners and managers to crack down on drivers who illegally ride motorbikes and quad bikes in forests, endangering members of the public using them.

Peter West of Scottish Woodlands, which is working together with other managers and neighbours, said: “Unauthorised access with motorised vehicles is illegal and dangerous.

“Recklessly driven motorbikes causes damage to the roads, trails and environment within our woodlands.

“This is anti-social behaviour and we want to put a stop to it. This type of behaviour is not only putting drivers at risk of serious or fatal injury but also other members of the public who are enjoying our forests.”

Sergeant Lauren Duthie, from the Stonehaven Community Policing Team, said: “Walkers, mountain bikers, horse riders and other members of the public should be free to enjoy the forests without fear of coming into contact with an unauthorised vehicle being driven off-road.

“Riding motorbikes or any other vehicle off-road without permission from the landowner is illegal in Scotland and the driver could be charged with road traffic offences and be fined.

“Persistent offenders could also risk having their vehicle seized. Here in the north-east, we benefit from having beautiful forestry areas which the public are encouraged to enjoy them responsibly.

“If you see any vehicles being driven off-road please contact Police Scotland on 101.

“If you can, try to report as much detail as possible including location, registration, colour of vehicle and detail of the driver/rider’s clothing.

“Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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