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Woodlands motorcyclists in Darenth warned by police for breaking stay-at-home rules

PUBLISHED: 12:57 13 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:57 13 April 2020

Officers were called to antisocial bikers riding in woodland at Darenth. Picture: Kent Police

Officers were called to antisocial bikers riding in woodland at Darenth. Picture: Kent Police

Archant

A group of bikers have been warned by police for riding their machines in woodland.

Officers called them “antisocial” and issued warnings on April 6.

Police received reports of antisocial behaviour and people flouting national government advice to not socialise and to stay indoors during the Covid-19 health emergency.

Dartford Police Community Support Officers attended Ladywood Road in Darenth where 10 Section 59 warning letters were issued to people who were seen riding motorcycles or were in attendance.

The Section 59 warning letter warns the owner of the bike that should they attend the location again an order will be sought under the Police Reform Act which enables officers to seize vehicles if they cause antisocial behaviour within the next year.

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On the same day a 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old man were both issued fines after they were seen together riding motorcycles on the A296 junction with Wood Lane in Bean, and were both unable to provide a reasonable excuse as to why they were out.

Police issued fines under new powers relating to the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Dartford and Gravesham district commander, Chief Inspector Neil Loudon said: “We take reports of antisocial behaviour seriously and want to reassure the public that despite the challenges of the current way of working we are responding to reports as usual.

“We have always had powers to warn, fine, seize and in some cases destroy a vehicle if it has been driven uninsured or where the motorcyclist or driver is causing a nuisance and will use these powers where they are required.

“Sadly, despite the national government advice to stay at home and to only leave home to shop for basic essentials, to do one form of exercise a day, for a medical need, or to travel to and from work where this is absolutely necessary, there are a minority of people who continue to flout the law.

“We will continue to engage with residents to remind them of the need to follow government advice and encourage them to do so.

“As a last resort, we will use enforcement where we need to.”


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