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Specials target motorists during 'no excuse' operation

Special constables caught over 180 motorists flouting the law during a ‘no excuse’ operation in North Dorset on Sunday 6 April 2014.

The operation was part of a national event which gave members of the Special Constabulary the opportunity to be part of the running of Dorset Police for the weekend.

A total of 70 special constables took part in Operation Puzzle, with officers assigned to a number of sections across the county on Saturday 5 April 2014. Patrol and Safer Neighbourhood officers remained on duty throughout the event performing additional tasks and assisting their special constable colleagues.

On Sunday 6 April 2014, special constables assisted by traffic officers and police staff, carried out ‘no excuse’ operations in Blandford and Gillingham in North Dorset and Verwood in East Dorset.

In Blandford and Gillingham, a total of 102 motorists were caught speeding by a combination of hand-held devices and safety camera vans. Those drivers that meet the criteria will be offered a place on the Driver Awareness Course or will have the options of a court hearing or a £100 fine and three penalty points on their licence.

Special constables also issued seven Fixed Penalty Notices to drivers or passengers for not wearing a seatbelt and three tickets to motorists caught driving while using a hand-held mobile phone.

One motorist was caught driving with no MOT and a section 59 notice under the Police Reform Act 2006 was issued to an Advanced Motorbike Instructor for a poor overtaking manoeuvre.

One vehicle was seized for being driven with no insurance or driving licence.

In Verwood, 72 motorists were caught speeding.

Brian Austin, ‘no excuse’ project manager, said: “It was great to see our special constables running our ‘no excuse’ operations.

“These statistics clearly show that motorists are continuing to flout the law. Speeding and driving while using a mobile phone are the main contributory factors in fatal and serious injury collisions in Dorset. Not wearing a seatbelt significantly increases the chances of sustaining life-changing injuries if involved in a crash.

“There is no excuse – simply do not do it.”

Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary Debi Potter said: “The Special Constabulary worked very well over the weekend covering a wide range of incidents. These included road traffic collisions, thefts, driving offences, missing people and crime enquiries. It also gave the opportunity for proactive operations to be carried out by their regular colleagues.

“Volunteering to be a special constable is a great way to enhance your skills and gain new experiences while helping and protecting the community.”

There are currently 214 special constables serving with Dorset Police.

In July, Dorset Police will be launching a very important recruitment drive to invite more special constables to join the Force.

If you would like to register your interest in this amazing opportunity and receive more information regarding the role of a special constable and the recruitment process, please visit our Special Constabulary pages on this website or email volunteers-recruitment@dorset.pnn.police.uk.

Issued: 9 April 2014