Chopper’s on the trail

A POLICE helicopter has been called in to help crack down on illegal trail-biking.

Ever since a robust public meeting on trail-biking was held at Visko Park in Yangebup, police have worked closely with fed-up locals.

So far, six bikes have been seized.

Residents living nearby are plagued by riders ripping up the park and their verges and lawns (“Anti-trail bike rally,” Herald, February 27, 2015).

Sergeant Blake Neil says getting access to the chopper made it easier to track riders back to their homes.

“Some of the bikes we seized were stolen,” he says.

“The offenders were a mix of juveniles, who we can’t prosecute, and adults.

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• Sergeant Blake Neil with seized trail bikes. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

“The community have been great at tipping us off, and one of the bikes we seized belonged to a rider which the community had been complaining about for a long time.”

Cockburn Labor MP Fran Logan says councils have the power—under the 1978 control of vehicles (off-road areas) act—to fine riders and impound bikes but they are either not aware of the act or choose not to enforce it.

He will raise a grievance in state parliament asking WA local government minister Tony Simpson to force councils to use their powers to control off-road bikes and cars.

Mr Logan adds there’s a sinister criminal element to illegal trail-biking, with burglars using them to evade capture.

“Recently, four individuals on trail bikes broke into a house in Cockburn and used the railway track as a getaway route,” he says.

The Chook contacted Cockburn city council but we’re still waiting for its media team to get back to us.


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