Roads Minister visits Sussex to see how force is keeping the county’s roads safe.
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The Chief Constable and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner welcomed the Roads Minister to the county to look at the ways the force working to make our roads safer.
Richard Holden MP visited Sussex Police’s Forensic Collision Unit in Shoreham, and met specialist officers from the force’s Roads Policing Unit (RPU), on December 15.
The visit took part just as the Force launched their new roads campaign “Drink Driving – Together We Can Stop It”. The campaign encourages the public to prevent, persuade, and report drink-drivers to save lives.
It also comes as officers from across the county have been working as part of Operation Limit, a nationwide campaign to catch offenders on our roads. In the first two weeks of the annual crackdown, nearly 90 drivers have been arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving.
During the visit, officers based at the Sussex Forensic Collision Investigation Unit showed the minister how they’re using cutting-edge technology to aid in road incidents and how they collect road data, images and evidence.
This includes brand new high-tech laser scanners, of which Sussex are the first police force in the country to secure. The scanners can reconstruct serious injury and fatal collisions.
The Roads Minister was also given a tour of a Sussex Roads Policing patrol car where officers explained the effectiveness and efficiency of the various technologies within the car, including the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system which allows them to proactively target criminals using the road.
Before attending a drink-and-drug drive check point which saw officers stop multiple cars and carry out breath tests and roadside drug screenings, the Minister spoke to officers about Sussex’s joint initiative – Operation Crackdown.
Run by the Safer Sussex Roads Partnership and Sussex Police, Op Crackdown gives the Sussex community an opportunity to report specific instances of anti-social driving/riding as well as any abandoned vehicles left on the roads.
During October and November, 154 Notice of Intended Prosecution letters have been sent out to drivers who have been caught on submitted dashcam footage, not using the county’s roads safely.
Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “We were pleased to welcome Roads Minister Richard Holden to Sussex, and demonstrate the outstanding work of our officers and staff policing the county’s roads.
“Already this December we have seen more than 100 arrests of drink and drug-drivers as part of our annual Op Limit campaign.
“But we are policing the roads 24/7, every day of the year, and while officers can’t be everywhere, they could be anywhere.
“We are determined to catch offenders and prevent them causing serious harm to themselves or other road users.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner and Road Safety Lead for the Association of PCCs Katy Bourne said: “The visit was a brilliant opportunity to show the Minister the great work that goes on here in Sussex to make our roads safer.
“Road deaths should not be inevitable; they are preventable and it is vital we educate and inform the public about road safety and get dangerous drivers off our roads.
“It is important that Sussex Police teams have access to state-of-the-art technologies so they can continue to work on an intelligence-led basis, understanding trends and behaviours and getting a clear picture of why people are killed or seriously injured on the roads.
“Here in Sussex, we want all roads users to know, it is simply a matter of time. If you’re an irresponsible driver – you will be caught and have to face the consequences.”
Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “It was great to meet Sussex Police and hear how they are cracking down on reckless motorists driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
“We are taking action to improve road safety through our highly effective THINK! campaigns and review of roads policing.”