YOUNGSTERS who tear up Solihull’s parks and open spaces with illegal off-road bikes have met their match in the shape of a £9000 six-wheeled crime-fighting weapon.
The environmentally-friendly off-road Polaris can motor across all terrain at more than 40mph meaning police can now outrun yobs on quad bikes and scramblers, some as young as eight, who cause havoc in the borough.
Police have been thwarted in their attempts to catch the illegal riders in the past because normal police vehicles cannot be taken into the parks.
But the £9000 Polaris, based at Chelmsley Wood, is set to change all that.
At a demonstration of the super buggy in Elmdon park, Councillors Glenis Slater (Elmdon) and Bob Reeves (Lyndon) watched the Polaris in action..
Coun Slater said: “I’m really pleased with it. We have had incidents in the park with these little mini-mopeds so it’s just what is needed. It can get into all places.
Coun Reeves added: “The police car can’t get to the kids quick enough but the Polaris can cope with all terrain.
“A police car would be bogged down. They have had scramble bikes in the past but they churn up the grass so this is ideal.”
Sgt Carol Alldred from Elmdon/Lyndon Neighbourhood Team said: “Historically off road bikes have always been a problem and recently we have had instances where riders have gone very close to members of the public to intimidate them
“They are being sold on the understanding they’re not to be on the road. They’re death traps to be honest. We are taking a real zero tolerance approach.”
“If we catch them they will be prosecuted and the bike will be crushed.”