TIM DREW: Tackling the issue of reporting anti-social driving

MANY (if not most) of you who drive will have encountered anti-social driving – which can vary from being careless to deliberately aggressive or downright dangerous.

And whether you drive or not, you may have come across unsightly, abandoned vehicles in your neighbourhood. So what can you do about it?

Superintendent Jane Derrick, who is responsible for road policing in Sussex, addressed that question at the Sussex NHW Conference in Hove last month while promoting Operation Crackdown, which encourages the reporting of such issues. This can be done anonymously through Crimestoppers or by calling 01243 64 22 22, or via the Operation Crackdown website itself.

The online report as regards anti-social driving will include the category of offence; where it occurred; the vehicle type, make, model, colour and registration number; offence details; the driver’s description; and your contact details. You will be supplied with a case reference, but the information submitted must be accurate, or your report will be rejected. Note that emergency information (such as obvious drink-driving) should always be reported via the 999 number.

Once the report is received, the police will check the registration number supplied and, if a second offence is reported, will write a letter to the registered owner. A third offence will result in referral to the Neighbourhood Policing Team, but the Road Policing Unit will also be used in targeting such vehicles.

This information enables the police to identify particular areas involving anti-social driving but, as Inspector Derrick pointed out, you may also be helping to protect a future victim of domestic violence, as this is linked to aggressive driving.

Two surgeries will take place this week – with PCSO Ros Tite (Castle) at The Clubhouse, Palatine Park, Palatine Road on Wednesday, between 3pm and 4pm and with PCSO Catherine Dines (Gaisford) at Buddy’s Cafe, 121 South Farm Road, from noon to 1pm the next day.