Police in Eastbourne are calling for volunteers to help build on the work already being done to make the town’s roads safer.

The Eastbourne Neighbourhood Policing Team has been listening to residents’ concerns about the impact of anti-social driving and speeding, and has been working hard to address the issue.

Now lockdown is easing, Sussex Police and Eastbourne Community Safety Partnership are calling for volunteers to help increase the number of Community Speedwatch schemes across the town – a crucial and important aspect of the road safety toolkit.

Chief Inspector Di Lewis, district commander for Eastbourne, said: “Anti-social driving is having a significant impact on some of our residents and we are working hard to try and deal with those having the most impact. As we come out of lockdown and into the summer months, we anticipate this may increase.

“To support this, we are looking for volunteers to become involved in Community Speedwatch and work with us to tackle this problem.

“We actively support volunteers in Sussex Police and this involvement will play a significant role in supporting policing in Eastbourne. If you feel you can make a difference and offer your time, please get in touch.”

Community Speedwatch (CSW) is a national initiative where, in partnership with the police, members of the public use detection devices to monitor local vehicle speeds.

The volunteers report drivers exceeding the speed limit to the police with the aim of educating drivers to slow down.

If the data proves a driver is ignoring repeated warnings, police can prosecute them.

The aim is to:

•            reduce death and injury on the roads

•            improve the quality of life for local communities

•            reduce the speed of vehicles to the speed limit

•            increase public awareness of inappropriate speed.

Visit the Community Speedwatch website to register your interest or for more information. CSW Online works on behalf of the police and communities to organise and coordinate CSW activity.

All volunteers receive training, and neighbourhood policing team staff will support them.

Eastbourne Community Safety Partnership has recently agreed funding for equipment to be used and deployed by Community Speedwatch schemes in Eastbourne, allowing police and communities to make a difference and build on the work already in place.

To give a flavour of some of the work completed in the last six months, police patrols have targeted ‘hot spot’ locations reported to them for speeding and anti-social driving. This work will continue but will be supported by the activity of any new Speedwatch schemes.

Since January 2021, police officers and PCSOs have used their policing powers to seize 22 vehicles for having no insurance. They have reported scores of others for a variety of offences ranging from speeding and no MOT, to Section 59 warnings for the manner of driving. Other drivers have been arrested for drink or drug driving offences and possession or supply of controlled drugs.

Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 allows an officer in uniform to seize and remove a vehicle that has been used in a “careless and inconsiderate” manner.

April also saw officers from the Roads Policing Unit (RPU), Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and local divisions working together to provide education, engagement and enforcement in support of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s ‘two-wheeled’ campaign.

Approximately 50 motorcyclists were seen travelling from Hastings towards Eastbourne on the A259. They were followed to Beachy Head, where officers engaged with them. They then continued onto the A22 through Polegate, where numerous offences were identified and are now currently being dealt with.

May 2021 saw police support Global Road Safety Week with activities across the district, including dedicated patrols of known areas of anti-social driving, including speeding.

During the week of action, various patrols were carried out across the Eastbourne district, with three vehicles seized under Section 165 powers for no insurance, one driver given a Traffic Offence Report for parking on a zig zag, one driver reported for speeding, as well as two drivers arrested for drink-driving.

As a community, we are committed to reducing casualties on the roads and making them a safer place for all road users; we need your help to support the continued targeted activities and save lives on our roads.

To learn more about road safety, visit the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership website.