OFF-ROAD bikers who ignore a first warning from an officer will have their bike seized as part of a police crackdown.

Launching today, Tuesday, Operation Scrambler will see officers tackle the growing problem of youths riding scrambler bikes in an anti-social manner in the town.

There will be increased patrols in hotspot areas and offenders face the prospect of having their scrambler bikes permanently seized and being prosecuted.

Sgt Ruth Atherton said: “Youths riding scrambler bikes in an anti-social manner has been a growing problem in Warrington over the past few years, particularly in the north of the town and particularly during the spring and summer months.

“Riding these bikes through public areas and along busy roads in an anti-social manner is dangerous, for both the rider and other members of the public, and the noise and disruption these nuisance bikes cause is a strong source of frustration for communities.

“With the launch of Operation Scrambler in Warrington I want to reassure residents that we are taking the issue extremely seriously."

Police have the power to seize scrambler bikes which are used in a way which causes harassment, alarm or distress, even if the rider has tax and insurance.

A warning is given first, but if that fails to be effective and the bike is used in an anti-social manner again it will be seized under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act.

Scrambler bikes can also be seized if the rider is not insured, has not paid their road tax or in working order.

Anyone with any information in relation to the illegal or anti-social use of scrambler bikes in the town is urged to call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency dial 999.