Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has welcomed a successful crackdown on illegal off road and quad bike riders, and 4×4 drivers, on Eston Hills.
The joint operation on Sunday 28th April, led by Cleveland Police’s Rural Crime Team, with the support of colleagues from Cleveland Fire Brigade and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, saw several vehicles seized and fixed penalty notices issued.
It also saw the Friends of Eston Hills organising a community litter pick as part of the action day which took away over 16 black sacks of litter from the hilltop including glass and petrol cans which could contribute to the fires like those we have seen recently.
The multi-partner Eston Hills Action Group was brought together by Anna in 2017, following a spate of anti-social behaviour and arson attacks which were destroying the hillside and putting residents in danger. The partnership has resulted in a number of preventative measures being put in place to limit access by illegal off road vehicles and targeted police operations under Operation Endurance. Last year saw the numbers of fires reduce significantly, but this year has already seen a rise. In response, the partnership has stepped its activity back up.
“Anti-social behaviour on our hills is a danger to residents and is hugely damaging to the environment and the archaeological secrets it holds. I first brought this action group together two years ago because it was clear partnership working was needed to get to grips with the problem. I am pleased they have responded decisively to the latest incidents and I pay tribute to everyone involved with the operation over the weekend.
“I also want to thank the local community, especially the Friends of Eston Hills group, who go above and beyond to protect the hills for everyone to enjoy. It was great to join them for the community clean up at the weekend and to see so many local people giving up their time to help out. Together our message is clear – these are our hills and we won’t stand by while others destroy them.”