A councillor has called for further action to be taken by police to address the problem of nuisance off-road bikers in an East Lancashire town.

Cllr Jim Shorrock (Blackburn South East, Labour) took to X (formerly Twitter) to highlight his complaints about the off-road bikers in estates across his ward.

He said residents have told him they believe the police are not acting on information passed to them and not enough resources are being put towards solving the problem.

Mr Shorrock added residents want to see more police on the estate and more covert ways of catching the riders.

Lancashire Telegraph: Off-road bikes have become an issue in many parts of East LancashireOff-road bikes have become an issue in many parts of East Lancashire (Image: Lancashire Police)

He said: “There’s a general view from residents on the estate that the police are failing to act on information that’s passed to them with regard to addresses and names of people who are causing this motorbike and quadbike nuisance, and they are failing to commit sufficient resources to get to the knub of the problem.

“This is what is causing the issue and the frustration of residents, the fact that it goes on night after night, week after week, month after month, year after year, and nothing ever gets solved.

“They’re riding around the estates, they’re wearing balaclavas without safety helmets, there’s no registration numbers, they’re obviously not taxed and insured.

READ MORE: Off-road motorbikes, van, and car seized in Rossendale

“The latest issue really is around electric motorbikes, which of course are silent running and they’re causing some serious issues to residents when they’re going around the estate at 30-40mph plus.

“When it’s reported or when it hits social media, there seems to be no action taken at all, and that’s the feeling I’m getting from residents.”

Action was taken when heavy duty gates were installed on the Arran Trail around Blackburn to prevent it being used by off-road motorbikes and instead keep it as its intended cycling and walking trail.

However, these were damaged earlier this year and evidence was quickly found that off-road bikes had been using the trail soon after the damage.


Mr Shorrock continued: “We did put reinforced gates in place on the Arran Trail to restrict motorcycle and quad access and what we found was the gates were taken off the hinges and the fences were knocked down.

“Even the brick wall was knocked down that we as a council, working with the police, had put in place.

“Whilst measures have been taken to stop this anti-social behaviour taking place, there is zero respect from a tiny part of the community to any processes or anything put in place to inhibit their behaviour.”

READ MORE: Burnley police officers to clamp down on nuisance off-road bikes

When asked what residents want to see done about the issue, Mr Shorrock said: “They want to see more police on the estate, they want to see covert ways of catching these guys, and they want to know that police are definitely acting on information that’s passed to them.

“I know it’s not the only area in the borough with this issue but I think it’s the only one with such a long-standing issue. All through the summer holidays, all through Covid, when people wanted peace and quiet, when people were falling seriously ill and losing loved ones, this noise was pervasive throughout all that time. That’s what caused the upset.”

Other areas of Blackburn and towns across East Lancashire have been affected by the same issue, and deputy police and crime commissioner Andy Pratt has gone some way to addressing the problem.

Lancashire Telegraph: Lancashire's deputy PCC Andy Pratt (left) at a meeting with councillors and residents in WhitworthLancashire's deputy PCC Andy Pratt (left) at a meeting with councillors and residents in Whitworth (Image: Police and Crime Commissioner)

He was joined by Lancashire Police officers, local councillors, and residents at a meeting in Whitworth recently to discuss the impact of the illegal use of off-road bikes and the specific concerns for farmers in the area who face groups of riders damaging their property.

Discussions explored how people who like to use bike trails can be guided to correct areas to use them legally and what the police’s rural policing teams can do to support this.

Following the meeting, Mr Pratt said: “Inconsiderate use of off-road bikes is a blight on our communities and can have a devastating impact on the lives of those who live nearby and those whose livelihoods depend on the land, such as farmers.

READ MORE: Off-road bike seized in Darwen after complaints

“Making sure that rural areas receive the policing support they need and deserve is something both myself and commissioner [Andrew] Snowden are passionate about. Lancashire has a fantastic rural landscape, and this is something that should be protected.

“The meeting proved to be very productive, and we are committed to ensuring that rural areas of Lancashire receive the policing service they deserve.”

In July, Lancashire Constabulary launched Operation Centurion, backed by £2m of funding secured by the commissioner, to tackle anti-social behaviour across the county, including cracking down on the illegal use of off-road bikes.

A police spokesperson said: "Motorbike nuisance is one of our key priorities for the neighbourhood team at Blackburn and we are working closely with partners to combat the problem and deal effectively with anti-social behaviour as part of Operation Centurion."