Police in Fife are considering an invisible dye to put the brakes on irresponsible bikers.
The tagging spray that marks the bikes, clothing and skin of anti-social riders is being piloted by Police Scotland in Edinburgh.
With youths on motorbikes again wreaking havoc across large swathes of Fife’s open space, officers revealed they would consider the approach in the region if it proves successful in the capital.
Complaints about anti-social behaviour by youngsters on quad bikes and motorcycles have shot up during the recent hot weather, particularly in Levenmouth where members of the public have reportedly had to jump out of the way of riders on the Promenade and in Letham Glen.
The increase has prompted Labour MSP Claire Baker to call on police to utilise the latest technology in a bid to crack down on the nuisance.
She said the DNA spray, already in use in Merseyside and Yorkshire, would allow officers to link bikes and riders to their behaviour without having to catch them in the act.
The handheld devices containing a uniquely coded but invisible dye can be sprayed by officers at suspected illegal bikers and, if suspects are arrested or bikes recovered, the code will link offenders to associated criminal offences.
“I appreciate that the police have been trying to crack down on such behaviour but despite having Operation Ducati, Operation Reflector and Operation Shorehead, we are seeing such anti-social behaviour plaguing areas of Fife,” said Mrs Baker.
“I am clear that efforts must be stepped up to catch those that are illegally and irresponsibly riding around Fife and putting locals in danger.”
The mid Scotland Fife MSP said the behaviour was not exclusive to Fife and added: “We need to learn lessons from others on how they are dealing with this.
“This includes looking at innovative solutions such as using DNA spray to tag and later identify those riders and bikes that are being driven irresponsibly, illegally and often dangerously across the kingdom.”
Chief Superintendent Colin Gall, Divisional Commander for Fife, said all police divisions across Scotland were watching the Edinburgh pilot with interest.
“We will of course support a roll-out within Fife should the product be deemed to be of operational benefit in tackling anti-social behaviour associated with the use of quad bikes,” he said.
“The benefit of a single force is that we are able to work closely with colleagues throughout Scotland to ensure we are making best use of the resources and tactics at our disposal for deterring crimes of this nature.”