Councillors and residents expressed specific concerns for farmers in the vicinity who rely on the moors for their livelihood and face groups of riders damaging their property.
An additional challenge is posed by the moors bordering Greater Manchester, meaning that meetings such as this are increasingly important to ensure a co-ordinated partnership approach which is vital.
Discussions explored how people who like to use trail bikes can be guided to the correct areas to use them legally by diverting them to nearby local sites dedicated to riding these vehicles and what the Constabulary’s rural policing teams can do to support this.
Commissioner Andrew Snowden has invested over £700k into rural policing, with Lancashire Constabulary now having one of the largest rural policing teams in the country. In July, Lancashire Constabulary also launched Op Centurion backed by £2m of funding secured by the Commissioner, to tackle anti-social behaviour across Lancashire. This includes cracking down on issues such as the illegal use of off-road vehicles.
Following the meeting, DPCC Andy Pratt said:
“Inconsiderate use of off-road bikes is a blight on our communities, and can have a devastating impact on the lives of those who live nearby and those whose livelihoods depend on the land such as farmers.
“Making sure that rural areas receive the policing support they need and deserve is something both myself and Commissioner Snowden are passionate about. Lancashire has a fantastic rural landscape and this is something that should be protected.
“The meeting proved to be very productive and we are committed to ensuring that rural areas of Lancashire receive the policing service the deserve.”