A ‘fuel safe’ initiative is being rolled out across petrol stations in Middlesbrough to help tackle the nuisance use of off-road bikes and other vehicles.
Riders or drivers may now have to provide their driving licence before buying fuel and Cleveland Police hopes this will stop these vehicles being used in the first place.
Petrol stations supporting the initiative will display posters warning that if they suspect fuel is being bought for vehicles that may be driven anti-socially they could decline the sale.
The retailers will also refuse to sell fuel to anyone under 16, anyone not using an approved container for fuel or to anyone driving or riding an unregistered vehicle.
The scheme was first piloted several years ago in the Eston area and was well received by fuel retailers and residents at the time.
Cleveland Police Neighbourhoods Sergeant Mike Doherty said: “Local fuel retailers have been very positive about this scheme and I hope more garages across the town will sign up.
“Nuisance use of off-road bikes and other vehicles can seriously affect quality of life for the majority of law-abiding residents. It can blight communities and poses a real risk to pedestrians and other road users.
“Those who persist in riding these bikes in an anti-social manner cannot be allowed to do so and, with the support of our communities and fuel retailers, my officers will do all they can to tackle this issue.”
The force’s Operation Endurance has seen officers seize a significant number of off-road bikes involved in anti-social behaviour or crime, and since September Cleveland Police has received 832 calls about off-road bike nuisance from residents.