Targeted proactive police operation launched to crack down on traffic offences and anti-social vehicle use in Sudbury and Haverhill
Efforts to crack down on traffic offences and anti-social behaviour around two Suffolk towns have ramped up with the launch of a new police operation, in response to concerns highlighted in a recent public survey.
Suffolk Police has launched Operation Culpa, a targeted campaign in Sudbury and Haverhill, geared around the ‘fatal four’ offences – drink and drug driving, speeding, mobile phone use while driving, and failure to wear a seat belt – and anti-social use of vehicles.
The issue of road safety and anti-social vehicle use was found to be one of the top three priorities that residents of both towns want police to focus on, after a week-long survey was held last month.
Sergeant Jamie Vincent, lead officer for Operation Culpa, said the scope of the campaign had significantly expanded following feedback from both the online questionnaire in October and recent community engagement events.
In addition to enforcement action, it will include increased training for officers in using speed detection devices, breathalysers and automatic number-plate recognition technology, to identify offenders.
Sgt Vincent cited the area around the A134 Northern Road in Sudbury as a particular hotspot for offences, such as racing, reckless driving manoeuvres and motorists using modified exhausts, which has also caused reported disturbances in some residential areas.
“This operation is to try to promote better use of vehicles and crack down on anti-social behaviour,” he said. “That has been raised as a major concern by the general public.
“There are various places in Sudbury and Haverhill where some drivers do circuits with extremely loud exhausts.
“In Sudbury, we get frequent calls to the area around KFC and McDonald’s in relation to boy racers.
“We don’t have an issue with people socialising with their friends, but often, when they’re together with their vehicles, one thing leads to another, and they start misbehaving and doing things like doughnuts and revving their engine very loudly.
“My general advice is to keep within the confines of the law, always check with manufacturers to ensure that any modifications comply with road safety standards, and don’t use your vehicle to disturb the public.
“Officers are trained and equipped to deal with any traffic offence, and offenders will be robustly dealt with.”
Sgt Vincent said speeding has also been an issue on a small number of roads in Sudbury, although it more commonly occurred in villages surrounding the town.
He stated the proactive action has made an impact in serving as a deterrent, but added that Operation Culpa will remain ongoing for an indefinite period, until a significant decline in the number of road-related offences are recorded.
Regular dates will be set for an increased presence in either Sudbury or Haverhill by the Suffolk Roads Policing Team, to educate drivers and enforce any offences, working alongside the local safer neighbourhood officers, speed watch groups and safety camera teams.
Traffic-related offences or anti-social vehicle use can be reported to Suffolk Police by calling 101. In the event of an emergency, always call 999.