STANFORD West councillors Shane Hebb and Terry Piccolo joined Essex Police and Thurrock Council officers on Tuesday 7th December for a patrol of their ward; specifically around Stanford Park and Butts Lane, the Billet field area. The routes used to drive through St Margaret’s was also reviewed.
The discussion was about the ongoing nuisance of off-road and illegal motorbike and quad-bike activity that residents and users of local green spaces have to encounter too often – and the next steps to be taken to further tackle the problem.
Cllr Hebb said this of the walkabout: “Terry and I have been reporting issues for a long time, and we met with Essex Police and Thurrock Council in the summer of this year to review ideas of how we can stop bikers evading the police when they are reported and seen. We’ve been supported a lot by Cllr Rob Gledhill too, who has helped forge the positive efforts between police and council. It isn’t only the noise that’s an issue, it’s the public safety – only recently I was walking on a green space in the ward, when a motorcyclist decided to drive less than 2m past me, on a normal Sunday afternoon. Had he or she lost control, at least one of us would have been terribly hurt – and that’s happening to too many residents and families in the area, and needs to stop.
“There are some good plans coming to fight this fight. We saw on the walkabout the efforts commercial property owners are going to, to stop break-ins and the use of their land; and the access of public land through their property. Stanford-le-Hope has been high-up on the focus-areas for policing colleagues, thanks largely to residents who report this issue; either to the police directly or through us as the local ward councillors. This has helped policing colleagues to target this off-roading activity – and with the new plans beginning to take shape, this intelligence will be very helpful in further making a difference.”
Cllr Piccolo said: “We encourage all residents who witness unsafe, illegal off-roading driving, to report to 101. It has made a difference, and helps the police build a case for new inventive ways to tackle the off-road biker issue.”