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Police officers to use targeted approach to making roads safer

Individual drivers who persistently put the lives of other road users at risk with their poor driving behaviour are being targeted by Cumbria Police.

Road safety and antisocial driving is consistently cited as a concern by the public, particularly when people are asked by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria to give their policing priorities.

Intelligence is being used to identify these dangerous drivers across the county and measures are being put in place to stop them.

Some will be warned the police are aware of their behaviour and will act if it continues, whilst others can expect to find themselves shortly in front of a court.

Inspector Steve Minnikin of Cumbria Police’s Mobile Support Group said: “As part of the preparation for Operation Dreadnought, we have been working force-wide, across departments to identify dangerous drivers who are at the most risk of being involved in a serious or fatal collision.

“By identifying and targeting these dangerous drivers we can help those who show a desire to do so, change their on-road behaviour for the better. Other drivers who cannot see the error of their ways and the risk they pose to themselves and others will be prosecuted for offences and brought before the courts.”

Dangerous drivers will be classified as Standard, Medium or High risk.

Many of those targeted as low-risk are prime candidates for intervention such as new drivers starting to show concerning driver behaviour. Some of these drivers will be visited by officers, receive letters from the Constabulary or could receive a Traffic Offence Report (TOR).

Medium-risk and high-risk drivers can include those who persistently display a willingness to drive whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and those who use their vehicles for criminality, including attempting to evade police officers.

Inspector Minnikin said: “Our officers will be taking a proactive approach to these issues, including increased evidence gathering through numerous methods, roadside drugs and alcohol testing.

“Every road user should be able to feel safe throughout the county. By taking a targeted, intelligence-led approach, I am confident Operation Dreadnought will result in improved road safety throughout Cumbria.”

Peter McCall, Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Too many people are killed and injured on our roads and anti-social driving, of one sort or another, whether speeding, driving recklessly, racing around car parks, use of mobile phones etc. are the most common offences which the public raise to me.

“Bad driving behaviour really worries people because we all use the roads, and anti-social drivers make us all vulnerable to their irresponsible and selfish behaviour.  That is why I very strongly support Operation Dreadnought, this is proactive policing to target those who blight our towns and rural areas to make our roads dangerous.

“Insp Minnikin and his team have my full support and I expect, firm education for low risk drivers, and robust action to be taken against offenders who just don’t get the message and think they are above the law.”

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