POLICE officers in Hampshire will soon be seen riding dirt bikes in a fresh bid to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Hampshire Constabulary’s roads policing unit has recently been facing problems with young people on mopeds and bikes.

When police arrive on the scene, the youngsters flee down alleyways where police cars cannot follow them.

Now, police and crime commissioner Donna Jones has announced that the force will get three dirt bikes that will allow them to better pursue these young offenders, promising “an entirely new tactical option”.

She said: “This is being funded by the Safer Roads Fund, which is built up by profits from speed awareness courses – and the rest from my PCC budget.

“This is for three dirt bikes that will be modified in the Hampshire Constabulary garages and will soon be good to go.

“The reason I’ve decided to invest in this is that the Roads Policing Unit told me its difficult difficult apprehend teenagers who are creating anti-social behaviour in our communities.”

Mrs Jones is putting forward £15,000 from her anti-social behaviour fund for the bikes.

Police using dirt bikes is not a new idea, with a number of police forces up and down the country already having a handful in their arsenal.

The three bikes will be split between Havant and the western side of Southampton.

Mrs Jones said: “In Southampton for example, Millbrook and Shirley have a number of issues with young people and the police can’t apprehend them down alleyways and are struggling to keep up with them.

“They’re also causing damage to other vehicles and creating a lot of noise from their vehicles.

“It’s a bit of a thing at the moment, particularly among young lads as a way to be very agile in urban areas. This is a safe way for us us keep on top of the issue and has been trialled in other police forces.”

According to the police and crime commissioner’s office, the matter was first raised at an anti-social behaviour task force meeting in December last year.

The suggestion was put forward to Hampshire’s police and crime panel on Friday.

It is hoped that the bikes will be on the streets in April.