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HAMPSHIRE police have denied failing to take anti-social motorbiking seriously.

Villagers along two major roads have launched a campaign to cut high-speed and aggressive riding.

The issue is especially serious on the A272 east from Winchester and the A32 down the Meon Valley.

There is growing alarm at the number of illegal silencers being used.

Inspector Steve Wakeford, of Hampshire roads policing unit, said: “We do take this issue very seriously. However, motorcycles are inherently loud and the noise heard may not only be caused by exhaust systems.

“If a motorcycle is stopped then it is checked for illegal parts by officers. Non-road use exhaust systems are mostly marked as such and are immediately identifiable.”

Insp Wakeford said the police’s priority was reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads.

He added: “As good weather approaches we raise our patrols of all motorcycle casualty roads. The enforcement includes speed detection, careless riding detection and when appropriate construction and use offences. This is balanced with education regarding safety and environmental impacts. We obviously prioritise the most serious issues first.”