A CRACKDOWN by police on the illegal use of off-road vehicles at United Downs has resulted in one vehicle being seized and action taken against others.

Devon and Cornwall Police officers based in Falmouth, launched Operation Blueranger on Sunday, December 3 after receiving complaints from members of the public about the illegal use of off-road motor vehicles in the area.

The operation covered the off-road paths that lead from Wheal Maid at United Downs out towards the rural communities of Truro and Redruth/Camborne.

The action resulted in:

One prohibition notice for a vehicle in Camborne that was unfit for the road

One requirement to provide insurance documents for a vehicle in United Downs

One OSCO for a vehicle with no valid MOT in United Downs

One vehicle seized by Her Majesties Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for having kerosene in its tank in United Downs

A number of off-road bikers were also spoken to by officers if seen in the area to pass words of advice and to educate on the legal use of their vehicles.

Officers worked alongside the HMRC road side fuel testing team and Environmental Enforcement Officers from Cornwall Council. HMRC helped police with road side checks on vehicles by testing vehicles for red diesel in their fuel tanks.

The Environmental Enforcement Officers helped by using their authority to drive legally on bridleways and footpaths so that they could position police officers as close to those using motor vehicles illegally off-road.

Due to the large area covered by the operation, local officers were also assisted by the Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance Roads Policing Team, the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter, Special Constabulary volunteer police officers and Neighbourhood Policing Teams for the affected areas.

PC Ashley Fuller said: “As much as the operation was targeted at the illegal use of off-road vehicles, it wasn’t just about enforcement and penalties.

“We also used the operation to talk to any off-road vehicle users and educate them about how to use their vehicles off-road legally and to enjoy the activity responsibly and safely.

“We hope this operation sends out the message to local communities that their concerns about this problem are being taken seriously, we are listening, and that we are working at targeting the problem where possible.”

During the operation there were static sites at United Downs Industrial Estate near to St. Day and The Great Flat Lode near to Camborne and Redruth where police performed routine road side checks on vehicles with the assistance of HMRC.

Police also patrolled affected areas around Truro, Falmouth and Camborne including Wheal Maid, Wheal Busy, Tuckingmill, The Great Flat Lode, Menadarva and Chacewater in an effort to deter those that use off-road vehicles along the footpaths and bridleways at the locations.

More about the law pertaining to off–roading and how to recognise paths, bridleways and byways can be found at devon-cornwall.police.uk/advice/on-the-road/off-road/