BARRIERS could be installed to prevent illegal off-road bikers putting safety at risk on a Wrexham estate after the effectiveness of a DNA spraying method was questioned.

Community leaders in Caia Park have previously voiced concerns because of the reckless way motorbikes are being ridden on fields and public footpaths, leading to a number of near misses with pedestrians.

Police have deployed a range of tactics so far in a bid to tackle the issue, including the use of a DNA tagging spray that cannot be washed off to identify offenders.

However, Whitegate councillor Brian Cameron has raised doubt about the effectiveness of the scheme after revealing residents were still being plagued by nuisance bikers.

Speaking at a meeting held on Wednesday, September 11, to discuss crime issues in Wrexham, the Labour politician said he feared someone could be seriously injured unless the riders are completely stopped.

In response to his comments, Wrexham town centre inspector Vic Powell said the spray was not the only solution and putting up physical barriers in problem areas was also being considered.

Addressing members of the local authority’s crime and disorder scrutiny committee, he said: “The spray is not going to remove the problem completely and we need to go back to the problem-solving route again.

“We need to look at those physical barriers and some education from within the community.

“I know my community team is heavily involved in trying to spread that word, but it’s understanding who’s having access to the bikes, when and where they’re using it, why they’re using it and what we can do to stop them getting onto those spaces.

“There’s a lot of work going on around it and there’s some scope to look at some big, physical deterrents.”

The use of the spray was first announced by North Wales Police earlier this year after officers in Wrexham received training to mark the bikes, clothing and skin of any illegal riders with an invisible dye.

The genetic material in each canister has a unique code which links suspects who are arrested, or any bikes recovered, to a crime.

The force said the spray is a water-based product and does not cause any harm, irritation or side effects to those it is used on.

However, it does leave a mark that cannot be scrubbed off and is visible via UV light for a long period of time.

Commenting further on the effectiveness of the pilot project, Mr Powell said it had achieved some success in clamping down on bikers.

He added: “The operation with the spray carries on and everyone has been trained in the use of it.

“I can’t give you any exact figures, but we’ve had a number of bikes seized minus riders because they’re very easy to jump off and run away from.

“We’ve put a number of people through the summons process for motoring offences but it’s a work in progress.”