New police focus on car crime and road rage

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Police in Northamptonshire have vowed to crack down on vehicle crime after receiving an increasing number of complaints about the standard of driving in the county.

Motorists are often frustrated by road rage and drivers showing no regard for anyone else on the road, and officers will look to tackle both.

They will also focus on trying to reduce all other aspects of car crime.

Sgt Bob French, who is involved with the operation, said: “The aim of this operation is to prevent and deter offenders committing vehicle crime offences by providing high visibility patrols and undertaking intelligence-led crime detection measures.

“An element of this is also looking at enhancing public safety, in particular that of lone females and vulnerable people, particularly during Nightsafe events, by identifying legitimate Hackney and private hire drivers and ensuring the safety of these vehicles on the county’s roads.”

As part of the force’s Operation Guardian efforts, officers will aim to disrupt criminality and tackle their Fatal Four – driving under the influence, using a mobile phone at the wheel, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.

The renewed attack on vehicle crime started yesterday and will run until March. Officers will be stopping vehicles, identifying suspicious activity, checking documentation and promoting road safety over the next two months.

They will also work with councils’ licensing officers to conduct checks on the safety of private hire and Hackney Carriage vehicles and work vans, to ensure driver standards are up to scratch and enhance public safety.

Driver Frank Pizzimenti, 55, of Thames Rise, Kettering, said: “I see a lot of ignorance on the roads and people failing to do what they should.”

Northamptonshire Police launched its Fatal Four campaign in 2009 and it has been hailed as a success.

The Evening Telegraph reported in July that the number of deaths on the county’s roads was at a 50-year low.