Below is an extract from "Illegal Motorcycling - Guidelines for incident reporting" issued to Rangers and Volunteers by the English Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) in June 2006. Because this document was intended only for their Rangers it does not appear in the LDNPA website, but we do have their permission to reproduce these sections.

Although the LDNPA and 
CAMARM differ as to method of gathering evidence our aims are the same.

1.    Introduction
[Two paragraphs omitted.]
Under Road Traffic Act legislation, only policemen have the power to stop a vehicle on a highway, to ask the driver of that vehicle any questions or to ask them to identify themselves. Asking Rangers or Volunteers to do this is not acceptable because of the potential risks to the individual and the fact that enforcement should remain with the police. Therefore these notes are for incident reporting only, not intervention.

2.    Guidelines
A pro forma [can be downloaded] with the type and level of information the police need to pursue a case. You need to complete as much of this information as possible. Obviously this will be difficult if the motorbikes are at a distance and moving quickly. However you should not approach any groups if at all possible – your observations should be from a safe distance.

There are a number of general guidelines that the police have also set out. Before you even contact the police bear these points in mind:

    All reports sent to the police need to be 100% accurate if they are to stand any chance of being forwarded to the CPS. For example, a report that says six to eight motorbikes were seen would not be sent to the CPS because of the uncertainty involved. You should still report the incident to the police but be aware that it will not be taken any further;
    Offences need to be seen being committed. Photographs of stationary vehicles, no matter how far along a bridleway, do not show any offence being committed. These must be accompanied by evidence of vehicles driving on the route or private land. Be prepared to wait around to gather this information  but only if you believe you are not at risk from doing so;
    Witnesses must be willing to provide a formal statement and be prepared to give evidence in court if necessary. No case will be forwarded to the CPS without this; and
    If the motorbikes are riding illegally on a footpath or bridleway then check either end of the route where it leaves the tarmac road for fingerposts and what information is recorded on them. For example does the direction arrow have a blue waymark on it and are there any other advisory notices pinned to it?

When reporting the incident to the police follow these points where you can:

    It should be reported to the police as soon as possible, ideally from on-site with a mobile phone. This increases the chance of an officer reaching the incident ;
    You have to go through the main police switchboard and ask for the incident desk. This is 0845 330247;
    Be prepared for a negative response because you will be more than likely reporting an unfamiliar offence in an unfamiliar location. Be patient and be prepared to explain where you are and have grid references ready if necessary;
    Do not ask for a particular officer for that area, even though he or she may be known to you – it could be days or weeks before they get back to you depending on their shift pattern;
    It is only through the recording of incidents that they will appear on Cumbria Police crime statistics. So always ask for the incident to be logged and ask for the log number;
    Fill in the form at the time of the incident or as soon as you can afterwards. Remember to include the date and time. This will help in court as it does away with the argument of a fading memory;
    Keep the form safe. A witness statement will be taken on official police forms but the original report will need to be filed and used as an exhibit in court; and
    In the form, under ‘Circumstances’ note any aggravating factors such as conflict with walkers, horses or habitat and landscape disruption and damage.

Once the incident has been reported:

    Inform the Area Ranger or the Trails Adviser of the incident and the log number if you have called the police. If possible provide them with a copy of the completed pro forma too;
    It isn’t too important who you provide the information to first – either the ranger or myself will then forward the information on; and
    Please keep us informed of any progress, for example when you have given a statement or had further information from the police on what they intend to do.

Remember that the priority is your safety. These notes are reporting guidelines only, not for intervention.


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