Sussex Police cracks down on speeding with Community Speedwatch

15/09/2020

The force is clamping down on dangerous driving, and officers across Sussex are trying to catch irresponsible road users during a week of action inspired by Project Edward – a national campaign to reduce the number of deaths on European roads.

During lockdown months, 23,163 cars were caught speeding in Sussex and the police said drivers have been “using the roads as a racetrack with no fear of reprimand”.

Specialist officers from Roads Policing Units will be out on our roads this week with Community Speedwatch volunteers who are back out in full force, on the lookout for speeding vehicles, for the first time since March.

Today (September 15) they were joined by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne on a roadside in Rushlake Green, near Heathfield, at a notorious 30mph zone where drivers have been caught reaching speeds of up to 68mph.

In under one hour, they clocked 12 drivers, some reaching speeds of 48mph, who will all be issued a stronger warning letter than before and could even be paid a visit by their local police officer or fined up to £2,000.

During this week of action the 275 Community Speedwatch teams across Sussex are expecting to send around 5000 warning letters.

Steve O’Connell, Community Speedwatch Coordinator for Sussex Police said; “We hugely appreciate the time and effort put in by all our Community Speed Watch volunteers in Sussex and it’s great to be back out in communities again.

“What we do really works. In 2015, 25% of those who received a warning letter from us went on to reoffend, in 2019 that percentage of reoffences dropped to just 6.1%.

“The ongoing success of the schemes is a reward to the volunteers for providing us with so much data and intelligence, as well as a reassurance to residents across the county that cracking down on speeding vehicles is really important to Sussex Police.”

Mrs Bourne will be making road safety one of her top policing priorities in her new Police & Crime Plan for Sussex as last year, 3,857 fatal or serious injury crashes were reported to the police.

The ‘fatal four’ are the most common causes of serious road accidents so Sussex Police are warning roads users to stay within the speed limit, only use hands free to make or receive calls, wear your seatbelt and never drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

With plans for tougher enforcement to reprimand the drivers they catch; officers are cracking down on those who thought they could get away with using Sussex roads irresponsibly.

PCC Katy Bourne commented; “From the high volume of public correspondence to my office and the numerous consultations I have conducted over the last year, I know that safety on our roads remains a top priority for residents.

“Sussex Police have invested and strengthened their roads policing unit over the last year as a result, working with partners on successful engagement, education and enforcement campaigns like this operation.

“I was pleased to see some of the specialist roads policing officers on duty today alongside Community Speedwatch Volunteers, actively engaging with the public and being a visible deterrent to those who think they can use our roads irresponsibly.”