Way of reporting bad driving in Sussex is ‘outdated’

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Operation Crackdown, a way of reporting anti-social driving or speeding in Sussex, is under review as it was labelled ‘outdated’ by a police chief.

Operation Crackdown
Screenshot from Operation Crackdown website

It is a joint initiative run by Sussex Police and the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership which provides communities with an opportunity to report specific instances of anti-social driving on the roads.

Specific to the county, it was launched in 2001 and updated in 2007 as it was originally only for reporting abandoned vehicles.

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, suggested the system had become ‘outdated’ even though the force had constantly attempted to add improvements in an effort to ‘tweak it and make it better’.

Speaking at a Police and Crime Panel meeting on Friday 23rd September, she said the chief inspector dedicated to roads policing in the county had Operation Crackdown on their ‘list of things to do’ and a review could be completed by the end of the year.

This was in response to a question from a panel member about whether Mrs Bourne was confident that Operation Crackdown ‘remains fit for purpose in its current guise’.

Mrs Bourne replied:

I do not think it is as effective as we would like it to be because it’s on legacy infrastructure with IT.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

Mrs Bourne shared some figures she had discussed with the chief constable in July.

There were almost 80,000 reports to Operation Crackdown last year, of which around 20,000 were about anti-social driving and around 60,000 were reports from community speedwatch groups, of which there are nearly 300 across Sussex.

These reports resulted in 551 interventions, more than 8,000 advisory letters sent out for anti-social driving and more than 75,000 community speedwatch advisory letters.

Some reports resulted in prosecutions, others intelligence for targeted activity, and some visits by casualty reduction officers to discuss someone’s anti-social driving.

There was a 32 per cent increase in reports last year compared to the year before.

Mrs Bourne explained that reports were assessed, triaged and then prioritised with the focus on drivers that present the highest risk.

Research showed in about 80 per cent of cases a letter stops someone’s behaviour.

Click on the link to make a report: Operation Crackdown.

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