Hoons on trail bikes riding over footpaths and public reserves are causing locals grief during the lockdown - and police warn they are working on plans to deal with them.
Locals are taking to social media to express their frustration about trail bike riders. One resident told the Rotorua Daily Post he and his two young children came within seconds of being bowled over.
Rotorua police have confirmed there has been an increase in the number of people illegally riding motorbikes on footpaths and reserves during the lockdown level 4 and 3 periods.
Area command Inspector Phil Taikato said it was an ongoing issue and they had plans to deal with them.
"They are basically the same youths that were bored and restless looking for the adrenaline rush."
When the problem first reared its head in 2019, police said on some of the occasions the riders were doing "drug runs".
However, Taikato said there was nothing from their intelligence information that suggested that was still the case.
During the last spate, police were able to reduce the "reckless and annoying" behaviour following a raid of the main offenders, which netted a bunch of stolen trail bikes that were being used.
"We mobilised a large number of troops and ended up seizing several bikes. Unfortunately, operations like that take a lot of time and resources."
He said police weren't able to do that during the alert level 3 and 4 periods as enforcing alert level restrictions was the priority as well as its "business as usual" tasks, which involved serious crimes.
"But I want to reassure the community those people causing these issues will be brought to account."
A Rotorua father said he and his wife and two young children were riding a track that went through Boord Park and followed the Utuhina Stream to Malfroy Rd last week when they were given a massive fright by a "hooning" rider.
"We had just come out of the track on to a road when a bike with two people on it just hammered through under the bridge. If it was a couple of seconds earlier he would have smoked straight into all of us."
Locals commenting on the problem on social media groups said they felt frustrated because every time they called the police, the riders were gone by the time police got there.
Rotorua Lakes Council sport, recreation and environment manager Rob Pitkethley said it was always disappointing when people chose to do the wrong thing, especially when it put the health and safety of others at risk.
"Public spaces are there to be used and enjoyed by the community and people should be able to feel safe when they are out and about in their neighbourhoods."
The council has trialled gates that required people to weave through them, and signage but in most cases, their attempts had been vandalised.
Hoons on bikes in public reserves were breaching the council bylaw and it could carry a fine or result in seizure of the bike and or prosecution in court.
However, Pitkethley said he wasn't aware of the council ever issuing infringements as most prosecutions were dealt with by police.
"By the time staff arrive at the location, the offenders are long gone."
Pitkethley said a lot of the vehicles were often unregistered or had registration plates removed making it difficult to identify offenders.
Pitkethley said he encouraged the public and reserve neighbours to inform police as soon as they could with much detail as possible.
"This has proved valuable in the past as it has enabled police to identify offenders and seize vehicles."
Meanwhile, community action has curbed the problem in the Fordlands community, which was the centre of most of the offending two years ago.
Fordlands Community Association chairwoman Ana Phillips said with help from members of the community, they had been able to slow the problem down.
"We used to have a huge issue with the dirt bikes, but it's calmed down over the last month because our staff and committee have been working really closely with key stakeholders to address the issue and make our community safer for our children."