GWENT Police have unveiled a new strategy in their fight to remove illegal off-road bikers from the city’s streets.

Officers will now work in partnership with staff at local petrol stations to deny the troublesome bikers access to fuel.

Under the scheme, staff will refuse to allow illegal bikers to fill up, and will report them to the police.

Heading the scheme is Inspector Martin Cawley.

“It’s something we’ve been discussing for a while – different ways to combat off-road bikers and their anti-social behaviour”, he said.

“Catching people on bikes is difficult and also dangerous.

“This scheme helps two-fold – it identifies the individuals involved and it helps to stop them refuelling.”

He said the initial response to the scheme has been promising.

“I think the general reception has been really good. The public and the petrol station owners are on board”, he said.

“We’re piloting the scheme in Newport East and we’re going to be extending it to Newport West, too.

“I’m hoping as many petrol stations as possible join in.”

Inspector Cawley said people in Newport were fed up with off-road bikers and the problems they cause.

“It’s a nuisance to everyone who lives in the area”, he said.

“For a lot of people this has been the bane of their lives.

“I understand how frustrating it is for people.

“It’s a handful of people causing a significant issue for a lot of other people.”

He said Gwent Police receive complaints about the bikers almost daily, with Llanwern an area where the bikers are especially problematic.

Another hotspot has been St Julians, but things have improved there recently.

Illegal riding is not only noisy and irritating, it puts people’s lives in danger.

“These bikers are causing a danger to themselves – sometimes they don’t wear helmets – as well as other people.

“The vehicles are unregistered, they don’t have an MOT, and in some cases might not be roadworthy.”