A NEW campaign is to be launched to try to stamp out the use of motorbikes at the Weymss Estate and Thornton Bing.
Officers from Fife Division of Police Scotland will now have the power to enforce stricter penalties on those found riding in the area, including anti-social behaviour orders and confiscation of bikes without negotiation.
Teams from Glenrothes and Levenmouth will be patrolling the area over the coming weeks to try to bring the problem, which has gone on for a number of years, under control.
Local officers say that activity has increased in recent years, with bikers now travelling from as far as Dundee and Falkirk to the area.
Shockingly, children as young as seven have been found to be riding bikes, alongwith adults who bring along special camera equipment to film their rides.
Earlier attempts to curb the problem have all but failed, as barriers have been found ripped off and dumped in the nearby river.
PC Ian Laing, wildlife crime officer for Fife, says the situation must be brought under control and a real clamp-down put in place.
“The standard of riding has decreased to a point where there is a very real probability that a very serious incident will take place. If serious injury or a fatality did occur medical assistance is not available at the location and access by emergency services vehicle would not be easily achieved.”
As well as destruction to the local area, including the ancient ‘Barrel Brig’ which officers fear will not be able to withstand the weight of the bikes for much longer, PC Laing also highlighted the danger to local wildlife.
“There are over 50 pairs of sandmartins here, but you can already see that the bikes have been going right over their nests. There are also ground nesting pheasants too, and you can imagine what it might be like to have a motorbike roaring right over your head.”
Councillor Jim Young has welcomed the action and says it has his full support.
“They are doing some horrendous damage and we really need to come down hard on these people because they are being most inconsiderate.
“As a Council we are trying to encourage children to get outdoors and get active, but these people on motorbikes are putting people off going for walks in the woodland.
“There have been a number of complaints from local residents about this so I certainly support the action which is being taken by Fife Police.”