Police in Wakefield to use new DNA spray in battle against anti-social off-road bikers

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A DNA tagging spray will be used to help catch offenders as police introduce new methods in their fight against anti-social riding.

Officers will begin using the spray to identify people riding motorbikes and quad bikes in an anti-social manner.

The spray has already been successfully used in the South East of the district.

And with funding from the Wakefield Community Safety Partnership, it is now being rolled out to the Wakefield West policing team.

Inspector Helen Brear said: “Our officers work very closely with colleagues from the Operation Matrix off road bike team to identify and take action against those who cause misery in communities with off road machines. 

“Such behaviour is reckless, anti-social and downright dangerous to both pedestrians and the riders themselves.”

Each can of spray, which is harmless and invisible to the eye, contains a unique chemical solution, to be used by officers carrying video cameras.

By spraying the riders and the vehicle they are on while they are offending, officers ‘tie’ them to the offence, proving beyond doubt that they were the person filmed. 

The spray has already been used to convict a South Elmsall man, who was spotted behaving anti-socially on a quad bike.

Inspector Brear said:  “Reducing levels of anti-social off road riding continues to be a priority for us and we have been delighted to take delivery of canisters of the DNA tagging spray.”

Coun Maureen Cummings, chair of the Wakefield Community Safety Partnership, added:  “This sends out a very clear message that this behaviour will not be tolerated and people who act in this way will be prosecuted.”