Police hit the roads

ALMOST 900 vehicles have been pulled over in a month by police in Northumberland villages.

The initiative was led by Morpeth Neighbourhood Policing Team throughout August in response to residents’ concerns about speeding drivers and anti-social behaviour.

Checks were carried out in Pegswood, Stobhill Green Lane, Hepscott, Stannington, Tranwell, Acklington, West Thirston, Longhorsley, Widdrington, Scots Gap, Cambo and Ulgham.

A total of 866 vehicles were checked and three warning notices were issued.

In addition, a one-day operation was organised jointly with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), resulting in 33 vehicles being stopped and checked.

Three prohibition notices were issued and two motorists were ordered to submit their driving documents for inspection. All of the vehicles were dipped for red diesel tests, with a negative result.

Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Sharon Wilmore-Greaves said: “We’re committed to addressing the issues of most concern to residents, such as speeding and anti-social behaviour.

“We’ve stopped hundreds of vehicles and spoken to the drivers about the concerns of residents. It’s encouraging to see the vast majority of motorists are abiding by motoring and road safety laws, but we will continue to take enforcement action against anyone who flouts the rules.

“We also joined forces with partners at VOSA and HMRC to carry out an operation and it demonstrates how going out and speaking to local people helps us to tackle the issues that concern them most.”

She added: “There has been a 10 per cent decrease in reports of anti-social behaviour in August this year compared to the same month last year, and so far this year the sector has seen a 27 per cent reduction in reports compared to the same period last year.

“We do, however, recognise disorder causes distress to residents and we continue to encourage people to report issues to police so action can be taken.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird praised the activities.

She said: “I welcome the initiatives taking place in the Morpeth area in response to issues raised by residents and it’s positive to see police and partners working together to deal with those concerns.

“Addressing local road safety concerns and reducing rural crime are key objectives in my Police and Crime Plan and it’s vital residents report their issues to police so action can be taken.”