On Saturday 23 July, Surrey Police took part in an education day at Frensham Common, along with Waverley Borough Council, Green Lane Association, Trail Riders Federation, Surrey County Council Rights of Way and GLASS (Green Lane Association).
We had previously received several reports of anti-social driving of 4x4s and off-road motorbikes on the byway and wanted to engage with motorcyclists, drivers, and members of the public. Throughout the day, we were also able to deploy officers specifically trained in off-road motorbike riding skills to patrol the area of the common and its surroundings.
Our aim was to get the message across that we welcome off-road driving and riding, but it must be responsible and safe. We offered guidance to those using the BOAT (Byway open to all traffic) how to do so responsibly as well as explaining to pedestrians on the common why certain areas are allowed to be ridden and driven on.
The majority of the day was spent engaging with numerous members of the public on foot, many of whom were not even aware that it was even legal for motor vehicles to be used on the byways across the common.
This is the first time our off-road bikes have been used in this way and it was an opportunity for the public to see we have that capability moving forwards.
Organiser of the event and Waverley Borough Commander Sam Adcock said:
“This was a fantastic day where officers and partners worked together to engage with the community. We want the area to be used appropriately and to be enjoyed by everyone but sadly this is not always the case. We take Rural Crime & Anti-social behaviour seriously and will continue to work with the local community and our partners to deal with incidents in the area."