Police operation to tackle ‘rat runs’ on Northamptonshire’s rural roads

A police operation in Overstone to tackle speeding and lorries flouting the weight limit
A police operation in Overstone to tackle speeding and lorries flouting the weight limit

Officers took to rural roads around the county today to tackle the issues highlighted by residents living in those communities.

Problems included lorries flouting the weight limits and speeding motorists.

A police operation in Overstone to tackle speeding and lorries flouting the weight limit

A police operation in Overstone to tackle speeding and lorries flouting the weight limit

Officers from the Daventry Rural Safer Community Team (SCT) were out in Preston Capes and Long Buckby this morning before moving their attention to Overstone and Pitsford.

The operation was planned as a result of local concerns about the area being used as a ‘rat run’ by lorry drivers.

It is also part of the Rural Action campaign, which was launched in May last year by Northamptonshire Police and the county’s police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds.

Since the launch of Rural Action, the force and the PCC’s office has spoken to hundreds of rural residents to understand their main concerns about policing in rural areas.

As a result of those talks, a new focus is being put on issues such as weight limits, speeding and bad parking across the county.

While officers were in Overstone this morning (Wednesday), two drivers were caught breaking the 30mph speed limit, notching up 34mph and 40mph respectively.

Both were pulled over and spoken to about their speed.

No lorries weighing more than the weight limit of 7.5 tonnes went through the village while the operation was being carried out, but officers were still pleased with their work in responding to people’s concerns.

John Hutchings from Daventry Rural SCT was pleased with the operation in Overstone today, as well as similar operations carried out in recent weeks.

He said: “People seem pleased to see us.

“They know that we can’t be everywhere, but they understand that what we are doing is we are showing a commitment to the issues that matter to them.”

He said they will be doing more operations like this, and added: “Expect to see more of us.

“We are not here to beat people, but to educate them and show and explain what we are doing.”

Assistant chief executive of the police and crime commission Kathryn Buckle was out with officers today, and said: “I live in a village so a lot of the concerns chime with the concerns that I have in my own village.”

She said she thought all villages in the county were equally subjected to the issues raised, and while the force can’t have officers on every street, they are listening to people’s concerns and trying to find ways to tackle the problems affecting rural communities.

Volunteers can play their part with this, including signing up to be a special parish constable, and there is a drive to recruit a parish special constable for every village in the county as part of a commitment to make sure rural areas get the attention they deserve.

For more information, go to www.northantspolicespecials.co.uk.