A morning in the life of Bideford police

09:36 19 February 2014

Reporter Sarah Howells joined PC Derek Broadrib, PC Neil Hellens and PC Dave Simpson. Pic: Graham Hobbs.

Reporter Sarah Howells joined PC Derek Broadrib, PC Neil Hellens and PC Dave Simpson. Pic: Graham Hobbs.

Archant

Reporter Sarah Howells joined the team at Bideford for a morning of traffic operations and a blown over lorry on the Torridge Bridge.

FROM a blown over lorry to parking disputes, a day in the life of a Bideford police officer is certainly anything from quiet.

I joined the team on Wednesday as they took part in an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) operation around the town.

The camera-equipped vehicle picks up registration plates of vehicles and checks them against the police data base for offences such as no insurance or no car tax.

My day began at 7am with PC Dave Simpson at the helm, sweeping the town and picking up a few cases such as a man driving a trailer with two registration plates.

This was followed by some speed gun action on Manteo Way, a ‘hot spot’ during the school run, where one motorist got a ticket for speeding at 56mph in the 30mph zone.

“This time of day is particular dangerous for people speeding, when you can see all the children on the school run at the side of the road,” said PC Simpson.

“We try and conduct monthly speed checks in areas such as Manteo Way, where members of the public have reported problems to us.”

The team caught a few more motorists speeding, before the heavy rain settled in and the units separated out to various calls that had come in.

PC Simpson and I made our way to Union Close, where a lorry which had delivered materials to a construction site had become trapped by parked cars.

We made enquiries over the radio to find the registered keepers’ details, eventually locating the owner of one after knocking on several doors around the area

But no sooner is that case solved than another began, with reports coming in over the radio of a person ‘slumped in the corner’ of Bideford football ground.

A quick case of the joint discovered the ‘person’ was in fact a sleeping bag and the well-wisher who had called in had thought it was a man who had been sleeping rough there.

As the winds began to whip up, a call came through the radio of a lorry blown over by the 50mph gusts on the Torridge Bridge and it was all systems go.

Traffic through the town was building and we arrived at the scene hot to find recovery crews trying to right the vehicle.

It was a precarious situation – the wind was so strong I could barely keep my feet on the ground and the rescue teams had a job of trying to pull the vehicle upright.

Progress was slow and steady, but eventually once the vehicle was upright the team managed to back the recovery lorry off the bridge with the van in tow.

As for the traffic operation, Sergeant Richard McSweeney, who was leading the team, said it had been a success.

Seven drivers were issued tickets, 30 issued warnings, one vehicle was seized and two drivers issued warning noticed for antisocial behaviour.

Sgt McSweeney added: “The results are generally pleasing as it shows that most motorists are extremely law abiding, but we would urge drivers to be conscious of their speed in urban areas as this was by far the largest area in which tickets and warnings were issued.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 21:03
Hundreds of people met in Barnstaple on Thursday evening to release purple balloons in memory of Katie Gammon, who died on Sunday. Picture: Andy Keeble

Family and friends line banks of the river to remember inspirational teen.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:06
Ilfracombe Carnival 2015

It’s carnival time as the town celebrates

Read more
Yesterday, 15:18
Visitors packed onto Woolacombe Beach yesterday afternoon (Tues).

Attraction owner says better weather next week comes at ‘critical time’ as school holidays draw to a close.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:52
Richard Davey and Paul Dyer completed the 914-mile journey for Children's hospice South West

A pair of cyclists from Ilfracombe have raised nearly £1,500 by completing the fabled journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:51
Beats Workin's Tom Hewlett, Glenn Field and Matthew Price at the new coffee shop

A popular Barnstaple business has expanded with a new coffee and skateboard shop.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:57
Expect a rollercoaster of fun and colourful costumes at Ilfracombe Carnival tonight

Don’t miss Ilfracombe Carnival on Thursday, August 27

Read more
Yesterday, 09:54
Ted and Peggy Ingram

A heartbroken Normandy veteran who could not bear to be parted from his love of 74 years has died just weeks after his wife.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:02
Rahim Jan has found a new home at BJ's Value House in Bideford.

Despite facing unemployment after being turfed from his roadside spot off the A39, Jans Diner has found a new home in Bideford.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:30
Devon County Council says it hopes to prevent future flooding on the Taw Bridge in Barnstaple. Picture: Submitted

Blocked drain blamed for regular flooding at Braunton Road side of Taw Bridge

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
Barnstaple Inner Wheel members welcomed Revati Jathar, from the Inner Wheel Club of Ambarnath of Mumbai. Picture: Submitted

Members welcome special visitor from sister club in Mumbai

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition


North Devon's trusted business finder