Initiative To Crackdown On Illegal Off-Roading On salisbury Plain Hailed A Big Success.
Salisbury Plain Training Area staff have recently completed a joint operation to crack down and deter illegal moto-cross and 4×4 off-roading vehicles on the Training Area.
Operation Aston, a collaboration between Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), Range staff, Wiltshire Police and 158 Provost Company Royal Military Police consisted of five joint patrols across the Training Area, targeting ‘hotspots’ of illegal activity, providing remedial guidance and punishing those caught offending.
The February operation proved quickly effective with offenders being encountered from all over the South of England including members of the public from East London, Bristol, Winchester, Southampton and Devizes.
Major Ewan Smith, Training Safety Officer on Salisbury Plain said:
“At 94,000 acres Salisbury Plain Training Area offers extensive recreational and greenlaning opportunities and is a ‘hotspot’ for off-road activity.
“Statutory Byelaws should be used sensibly by both the military and the public to keep the training area safe. This operation clearly demonstrated to offenders that those abusing the area will be caught and punished accordingly.”
Over the course of the operation up to 50 illegal moto-cross bikes were reported, of which 26 were issued written warnings, two moto-cross bikes were seized for not being road legal (the owners will face £150 fine and 3 points on their licence), and seven 4×4 vehicles were issued written warnings – including an organisation who were receiving commercial gains on MoD land by charging for safari trips on Salisbury Plain Training Area – which is illegal.