Reckless dirt bike riders have been ordered off the road and at least one bike impounded as police crack down on illegal behaviour during the Covid-19 lockdown.
In a Facebook post today, Counties Manukau police wrote that they'd stopped nine people on dirt bikes in Aorere Park in Māngere East this week.
"Eight of the bikes have been ordered off the road. One of the bikes had previously been ordered off the road and has now been impounded. Police have forbidden each person from riding. There are serious consequences if they are caught breaching this."
Other motorbikes had also been found to be stolen during the crackdown.
The riders' reckless actions were the kind of behaviour which had had serious or fatal consequences in the past, police said.
"During alert level 4, each of these riders had no essential reason to be on their bikes and were breaching these restrictions."
Under the month-long level 4 lockdown, people are required to stay home unless they're doing essential work, visiting essential services or taking a walk, scoot or cycle in their own neighbourhood.
Police had received a lot of information from the community about illegal dirt bike activity in recent weeks, police said.
The post comes after a young Hamilton dirt bike rider was referred to Youth Aid and had their motorbike confiscated by police for dangerous riding in a public place during the lockdown.
The rider, who wore no protective gear, was spotted riding circles in Norrie St, Bader, by Constable Tom Pearse on April 7, Hamilton city area commander Inspector Andrea McBeth said.
"Constable Pearse attempted to stop the rider, who fled and nearly hit an oncoming vehicle before riding on the footpath and into a local park."
Neighbourhood inquiries later identified the rider before a search warrant was acted upon.
McBeth condemned the young rider's actions.
"This is a stressful time for New Zealanders and there are more pedestrians and cyclists out and about. The last thing anyone needs is a dangerous motorbike rider in their neighbourhood putting them and their bubbles at risk."
In a video posted to Facebook today, Sergeant Vinny Stephney, of Ōtāhuhu, said police were grateful to the community for all the "great information as to where our dirt bike and quad bike issue is coming from in the Counties Manukau district".
Some motorbikes had been found to be stolen, unwarranted, unregistered and ridden by those with no licence, he said.
"But we still need your help. Please report any information about these dirt bikes and their whereabouts by calling Counties Manukau Police on 105.
"You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."
Descriptions of motorbikes and their riders, whether helmets were being worn and "where the bikes are coming from" would help.
"It can be done anonymously ... keep the emails coming because the Counties Manukau police across all areas are doing what we can to get these guys off our roads."