Al-Qaeda, human trafficking, mini-motorbike riders … is there no place evil can hide from the British Government?

Displaying its usual gung-ho attitude, Tony Blair’s administration has trained its sights on the scourge of mini-motos by launching a nationwide crackdown on the pint-sized speedsters and their ne’er-do-well riders, some of whom are as young as 10.

Today, hundreds of confiscated mini-motos will be crushed, and the Home Office will pump £200,000 into tackling the problem of tearaway riders taking their noisy vehicles on public roads and pavements, often late at night in built-up areas. The Respect Task Force is also publishing a guide for residents, local police and the courts giving clear advice on how communities can deal with the issue, and an online ad campaign, linked to mini-moto sites, will warn riders the consequences of their actions.

Home Secretary John Reid said: “Misuse of mini-motos is dangerous and is causing misery in too many of our local communities. We are working with police and local partners to promote safe and sensible use. These vehicles are not toys and I want to see irresponsible drivers stopped and if necessary their bikes crushed”.

Currently, the law states that it is illegal to ride unregistered mini-motos on pavements, in parks and on public highways. They should only be used on private land where permission has already been given but many sites, such as karting tracks or fields, that have permitted mini-motos in the past have changed their policies - often due to local resident or council complaints.

Mini-moto owner David Sitton, 26, told Pocket-Lint: “Mini-motos are often cheaply made, badly manufactured and are not made to health and saftey standard - they can be lethal, but in the right hands they are great fun and safe".

“They don’t ride like a normal bike so people always fall off the first time they have a go. They are definitely dangerous on streets and you have no insurance or lights, but in open spaces and the only harm you can do is to yourself."

“People love them because they give you the biggest bang for your buck - if you break them it doesn’t matter as they only cost around £100. The problem is that I don’t know of any place where I can go to legally ride. If that issue is sorted then there will be no need for people to ride them on the roads, and that’s they real way to tackle the problem.”