Police use drones to catch illegal off-road bikers on Cannock Chase
Police are cracking down on illegal bikers on Cannock Chase by using drones to catch the culprits.
Staffordshire police officers have been out in force on the Chase using the flying recording device to search for any dirt bikes, scooters or motorbikes causing a nuisance.
They were out at the beauty spot on Monday and stopped two men who they caught riding. Their off-road bikes have since been seized.
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said officers were working hard to make sure the Chase was a safe place for all visitors.
Sergeant Kathryn Tomkins, from the Cannock Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Staffordshire Police deal with many complaints from residents, families, mountain bike riders and horse riders in relation to off-road bikes at locations all over Staffordshire.
"Not only is this dangerous for others using the common areas but the noise and pollution is classed as anti-social behaviour.
“The team have worked hard to make sure that communities are safe and enjoy what Staffordshire has to offer.
"We would urge anyone buying an off-road bike for themselves or their children to be aware of the laws and limitations and that they have permission from the land owner.”
But officers have warned members of the public that drones were not usually allowed on the Chase and that the police had special permission to use the device for catching criminals.
A force spokesman added: “Staffordshire Police had permission from the Forestry Commission to use the drone on the Chase. The public are not allowed to do this.”
Last year police were busy tackling the same issue.
In February 2018 officers stepped up their patrols in the area after receiving reports from concerned residents.
Officers said they launched a "series of operations" but failed to catch those responsible at the time.
However, they pledged to continue their battle against unruly riders – and are now using drones as the next step.