A FIRST visit to Crompton Moor by Greater Manchester Police’s off-road motorcycle unit has been welcomed by the beauty spot’s Friends group.
‘Operation Camenca’ has been set-up to tackle reports of anti-social behaviour caused by off-road vehicles on the Moor.Together with Oldham Council and Royton and Crompton Neighbourhood Policing Team, the Friends of Crompton Moor are united in efforts to help protect this community site of biological importance.
Illegal off-road use is a growing problem in this area and causing environmental damage as well as distress and alarm to its wildlife and all users of the moor.
A spokesperson for the group said: “The police and Oldham Council are committed to resolving this issue through direct response and building an information database allowing them to identify how best to react.
“Users of Crompton Moor are being asked to report any incident using the 101 phone number.
“There is a misconception that common land, moorland and wasteland are free for anybody to do whatever they like. However, this is not the case.
“There is an historical right of access for leisure purposes and even for grazing animals. But all other use is not allowed.”
The law covering bikes is Section 38, of the Road Traffic Act 1998. Riding motor vehicles on common land or wasteland is almost always illegal.
Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 makes it an offence for a motor vehicle to be used on a road or public place in a manner which causes harassment, alarm or distress.
This includes noise which is caused by off-road machines fitted with exhaust systems not conforming to road standards.
The group added: “A noisy exhaust is a common factor for complaint. The heat given off from these exhaust systems can also be the cause of fires on moorland when vegetation is dry during hot dry weather.
“Effects on Crompton Moor are considerable and include; soil erosion; damage to drystone walls and other infrastructure; distress to wildlife; harassment to users and the possibility of someone getting badly hurt.”