Forensic Marking Used to Tackle Anti-Social Use of Vehicles in Calderdale

Wednesday 9 August 2023 

Officers from the Halifax Neighbourhood Policing Team are using new tactics to crack down on the anti-social use of motorcycles and quad bikes in the district. 

A proactive initiative, referred to as Operation Heelfield, targets stolen and off-road vehicles in the Mixenden, Ovenden and Illingworth areas aiming to reduce the anti-social use of these vehicles. 

The community intelligence led operation uses a combination of Neighbourhood Policing Officers, Roads Policing Officers, Proactive Intercept Team (PIT), Drone Officers, off-road motorbikes and a new resource of forensic marking.

Picture of smart tag cannisters

Forensic marking solution, known as SmartTag, has been given to officers to help enhance resources to tackle offenders. 

The solution can be sprayed on offenders and vehicles, which remain on skin, clothing, and items even after washing, which allows officers to locate suspects after an incident has occurred. 

Operation Heelfield has been targeting stolen motorbike, quadbikes and other off-road vehicles, and the anti-social use of these vehicles, over the last 10 months and has made great progress in tackling these offences within the North Halifax area.

Sergeant Oliver Bentley of Halifax Neighbourhood Policing Team said:

“Having forensic marking as an additional resource for our officers will increase our chances of bring those responsible to justice. 

“At times, it can be a risk to the public and officers to pursue offenders in off-road settings and the forensic marking solution can be sprayed without risk of harm to anyone.

“We understand the impact that anti-social use of off-road vehicles can have on the rural communities, and we will continue to do what we can to keep people safe. 

“I would ask that anyone who may have information regarding the anti-social use of vehicles or has CCTV or video footage of incidents, reports via the 101LiveChat function on the website or alternatively submit through the submissions portal -Safer Roads Media Submissions ( quoting Operation Heelfield.”

For more information on motorbike and scooter security, visit our advice page here - Motorbike and scooter security | West Yorkshire Police


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