Specials operation gets results

15 Feb 2017 12:09 PM

Special Constables during the operation [View Full Size]

Special Constables taking part in an operation in Blyth to target travelling criminals and unsafe drivers have delivered results.

During the operation the volunteer officers from across the force set up three check points at the main routes into Blyth over the weekend (February 11 and 12), to stop and check drivers. The specials also focused on motorists committing any one of the fatal four road traffic offences; using a mobile phone when driving, not wearing a seatbelt, drink or drug driving and speeding.

Over the two days between 10am and 4.30pm the 23 special constables dealt with 251 motorists. Of these they stopped and checked 195 vehicles, eleven drivers were given Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme (VDRS) warnings and told to fix their vehicles and make them safe, one driver was reported for having no licence or insurance and six drivers were issued with a ticket for offences including not wearing a seatbelt.

The ANPR vehicles, staffed and monitored by special constables, were installed at the check sites and were used to identify suspect vehicles which were then stopped at one of the checkpoints in the area. The drivers of these vehicles were then spoken to with any appropriate action taken.

Specials worked alongside with partners at Northumberland county council officials, taxi licensing who were out checking taxis. Together they helped to educate taxi drivers around the safeguarding of vulnerable people they may come across during their line of work.

Between them the 23 specials gave up just over 300 hours of their time during the weekend.

Special Constable Neil Patton was in charge of the operation. He said: "I'm really pleased with the efforts of all our Specials, they've done a great job serving the community and helping to keep the roads around Blyth and elsewhere safe. By tackling these issues in our towns we help to improve road safety for all road users and deal with matters that we know our communities are concerned about. Our partnership work with Northumberland County Council was also worthwhile and their contribution was very welcome."

Superintendent Andy Huddleston said: "I've been extremely impressed by the quality and results of this operation which was planned and carried out solely by our volunteer constables, including the radio despatcher. Their hard work and dedication to duty despite the appalling weather conditions over the weekend was truly remarkable. Once again they have demonstrated that their work is of the highest quality and a real credit to the force."

Cllr Liz Simpson, chair of the Safer Northumberland Partnership said: "This was an excellent initiative which not only demonstrated the great value of special constables in Northumberland but contributed greatly to keeping people safer on our roads and in our communities. Northumberland County Council licensing officers also attended to check taxis. 72 vehicles were checked over the course of the weekend and it was extremely encouraging to find only very minor issues highlighted and none which related to public safety."

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Pictured Special Constables during the operation