A CRACKDOWN on youths who cause a nuisance riding mini-moto bikes begins this week.
The Gloucestershire Youth Mini Bike Project has set up a circuit in a warehouse in Gloucester to teach young people how to ride safely.
It will also teach youths the legalities of riding mini-motos and other vehicles in public areas.
The project will run monthly training sessions at Unit 6, Mill Place, in Bristol Road.
The project was officially opened on Friday by Gloucester Mayor Chris Chatterton.
He said: “Mini-motos have been a huge problem in Gloucester for quite a while now.
“It is great that young people now have a safe, supervised space where they can come and ride.”
The project was set up following concerns about increasing levels of nuisance caused by mini-motos and similar vehicles to local communities in the City.
The aim is to reduce disruption and anti-social behaviour.
Sergeant Tim Wood said: “While we can and will give out warning notices and even confiscate bikes where people are causing a nuisance in the community with their mini-motos and mopeds, education and creating opportunities like this for young people to ride in a safe but enjoyable environment means we can help resolve the problem in the long term.
“It also means we’ll be able to improve our relationship with young people in the community and help build trust and confidence in the different agencies.”
Aaron Artis, 12, from Westbury-on-Severn, was among the first to ride the circuit on Friday.
He said: “It is a good thing for Gloucester and for kids who don’t know how to ride.”
Brother Tyler, 15, added: “It is good fun and I think it will be a good opportunity for people to come and learn how to ride safely.
“Lots of kids ride them in public places where they aren’t meant to be so it is good that they now have a place to come.”
The initiative is in partnership with Project Solace, Gloucester City Homes, Guinness Hermitage, Oxbode Housing Association, Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Constabulary and Safer Gloucester and is based on a similar project in Cheltenham.
PCSO Steve Yetton, who runs a similar project in Cheltenham, said: “The project had been running in Cheltenham since 2009 and since its inception has seen an 88 per cent reduction of police incidents regarding the anti-social use of motorcycles in the Cheltenham area. Partners hope to see a similar effect on the number of incidents reported in Gloucester.”