OFF-ROAD motorcycle riders who continue to intimidate residents in mid Cheshire face tougher action if they are caught joyriding.

That's the message from police who have stepped up their pursuit of troublemakers.

In Northwich more than 40 warning notices have been dished out.

Insp Graeme Birmingham, head of Northwich Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: "The warning notices that we use are called Section 59s and they are given out to bikers causing a nuisance.

"This technique, although not as speedy as many people would like, is proving most useful and my officers will continue to use it to address the concerns of local people."

A handful of offenders who have chosen to ignore the warnings have had their vehicles seized and 12 other bikes believed to be stolen have been recovered.

Winsford NPU says it has also been working hard to tackle the issue.

Insp Brian Roberts, who is in charge of the town's NPU, said: "This is a continuous battle and we are acutely aware of the impact it has on the community.

"A number of people will be appearing before the courts for driving offences and repeat offenders' vehicles have been disposed of."

He said the Winsford NPU has started a programme in partnership with local schools informing riders of the implications of their actions.

Flyers will also be distributed around the town shortly warning offenders who joyride.

Members of Congleton's Community Action Team have noticed incoming calls about the anti-social use of motorcycles are on the increase but admit the problem is on a much smaller scale in Middlewich than in Northwich.

Insp Birmingham added: "People who ride in an anti-social manner are usually somebody's neighbour.

"Clearly, names, addresses and registration numbers if displayed would help us to deal with these matters quickly."