Police officers gave a hilarious response to what they described as 'idiot' motorcyclists driving at dogs.
The officers chose to get out a message about the dangerous bikers using paths and bridleways in Cambridgeshire using the classic first line used in fairy tales.
The 'notice to rogue off-road motorcyclists' was posted on the Facebook page Policing March and Chatteris on Sunday afternoon (June 17) – accompanied by a photograph of a 'stinger', used by police to stop vehicles in their tracks.
The Grimm tale
The post says: "Once upon a time there were some motorcyclists who used the paths and bridleways around March to have some fun.
"They were polite and courteous of other path users, stopping and giving way when necessary. Although this was illegal no one was overly concerned because they were so considerate.
"This was okay.
"Then one day a new breed of motorcyclists appeared. Driving at people and their dogs believing they were above the law.
"This is not okay.
"Then along came the friendly local police officers who tried to speak to said motorcyclists.
"But they didnt want to play with the officers and refused to stop. Driving like idiots putting other road users at risk.
"This too is not okay.
"So as they didnt want to speak to the officers a series of measures have had to be put in place:
"Local garages have been asked not to supply them with fuel.
"Physical barriers have been requested to prevent them.
"Devices have been set up to record and prevent them.
"The officers will be visiting those who continue and will seize the bikes, prosecuting them for failing to stop for the police and dangerous driving.
"They will also be prosecuted for any other offences relating to the use of vehicles in a public place and any licence or insurance offences. These offences will quickly stack up and said bikers may find themselves in prison.
"Alternatively if anyone wishes to keep their bike and speak to us about trying to arrange a legal location that they can safely use their bikes then they can email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We can then try and co-ordinate all interested parties to seek a suitable alternative that does not involve endangering pedestrians on the public paths.
"The legal bit:
"It is illegal to ride a motorcycle in any public place without a valid licence or insurance.
"A public path is not considered as being 'off road' in law.
"Vehicles have to be adapted for use on public paths the same as if they were driven on a road."
Reader reaction – and police's cheeky reply
But some readers of the post were not pleased with the action taken by police – and fear a tragedy could happen.
Laraine Howlett wrote: "The police cones you left at the top of the old railway have been thrown in the bushes! So a waste of time, and no deterrent.
"Nothing will happen till someone there dog or a horse is hurt! It will happen just carry on doing nothing!!
"The guy with the back firing bike who is up there all the time and all over the town (and aggressive) was back up there yesterday at least 4/5 times … he clearly cares not a jot!
"Come on sort this out. Put a barrier at each end, lots of dog walkers that I have talked to would happily help with the cost, if that's the problem.
"But it is illegal to take any motor vehicle along those tracks, whats the point of a law if you don't enforce it? I also see cars going down there on and off. Is there nowhere these kids can go to ride the bikes safely? Then stop something horrible happening."
Rotciv Werdlem hit out at a line in the police's post which said “Although this was illegal no one was overly concerned”….
Mr Werdlem added: "Could you let me have a list of things that are illegal but dont concern you, then I wont bother to abide by the laws of this country either!"
But police responded – with a smiley face and the reply: "'No one was overly concerned' meaning members of the public did not report this to the police. They are now reporting it very frequently due to the change in attitude of the drivers. But I suspect you knew that :)"