THE Ministry of Defence and Wiltshire Police have been cracking down on people illegally driving across defence training areas.

Officers were out in force on Salisbury Plain on February 17 for the joint operation, which saw 43 vehicles checked and several issued with fines. A motorcycle was seized for being ridden without insurance or a licence and ten fixed penalty notices were issued for illegal off-road driving.

Sergeant Mark Venning, senior MoD police officer for Salisbury Plain, said: “The vast majority of Salisbury Plain is owned by the MoD. The public are allowed access but only if they stick to the numerous marked byways and official tracks and they must be fully road legal, including insurance.

“But we have been receiving more and more reports of motorists and bikers going off-road. This is an operational military training environment so this clearly presents a safety issue, but there is also the fact that 20,000 hectares of grassland on the plain have been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.”

Anyone with information about illegal activity on Salisbury Plain can call Plainwatch on 01980 674700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.