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PCSP welcomes ‘red notice’ signage warning of illegal scramblers

Friday 19 May 2017

The​ first of a series of ‘red notice’ signs has been erected in the Ballymena area to warn off-road vehicle users of severe consequences should these be used illegally.

Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) Vice Chair, Marjorie Hawkins, was on hand to see the first sign going up in Ballykeel 1 estate on Thursday, 18 May.

She said: “PCSP has already met with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to discuss ongoing issues around the misuse of scramblers across the Borough and we welcome the launch of the first of these warning ‘red notice’ signs.

“There is now no doubt about the likely result of such motor vehicles being used illegally.

“Anyone who uses a scrambler or similar off-road vehicle ‘in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance’ now faces seizure.

“We very much welcome this move and the news that once established at scrambler ‘hot spots’ around Ballymena, the initiative will be rolled out across all of Mid and East Antrim Borough.”

The relevant legislation – the Criminal Justice NI Order 2008, Part 4, Article 65 - has already been called into use by the PSNI when they recently put a seized scrambler bike on display.

The Mid and East Antrim PCSP Vice Chair continued: “The impact on local communities from such anti-social activities is considerable, causing distress and sometimes even danger.

“We are therefore very pleased to join the PSNI in targeting the misuse of scramblers and – along with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council itself – to be undertaking a number of initiatives in the coming weeks to address the very real concerns expressed.”

Mid and East Antrim Borough Mayor, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, who also attended to support the signage launch, said: “The distress caused by such anti-social behaviour has led to considerable annoyance, with Council receiving several complaints from residents in recent weeks.

“I fully support this PCSP and PSNI joint commitment to address this issue. It is a particularly important scheme at this time as better summer weather and more daylight hours means that such illegal off-road vehicle use is becoming more common.”

PSNI Chief Inspector Stephen Humphries added: “We are acutely aware of the concerns coming from the community and we are being proactive in terms of seizing scramblers and educating riders and their parents.

“With the erection of these ‘red notices’ outlining the strict rules around how scramblers and quads can be used there can no longer be any excuse for breaking the law,” he said.

“We are committed to working with the PCSP and wider community on further initiatives to raise awareness around this issue. A balance of enforcement along with appropriate education should ensure that the message gets through.

“Work is already underway with the community safety wardens who are assisting with the distribution of leaflets door-to-door to ensure every householder is aware of the strict rules on operating off-road vehicles,” he said.