Return of Operation Hawmill to Calderdale's roads (23 Oct 2017)

Ophawmill _partner _photoJust over 12months after its initial launch, police in Calderdale have confirmed their proactive roads policing operation, Operation Hawmill is returning to combat issues on the districts roads with a new partnership focus to deliver an even better service to local communities.

Operation Hawmill commenced in September 2016 to focus on tackling offences on the roads in Calderdale, commonly referred to as the Fatal Four - the four factors most likely to contribute to a fatal road traffic collision. These are being over the prescribed limit through drink or drug use, speeding, using a mobile phone while driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

The teams saw great success, with numerous drivers penalised for these offences, as well as a number of potentially dangerous vehicles being seized for having no insurance or being used anti-socially.

Calderdale Council has provided extra funding to the operation, allowing a further 12 months of proactive deployment by the team. The initiative supported by the Calderdale Road Safety Partnership will see all partners working closely to address the issues and look to further improve road safety across the district.

Sergeant Ben Doughty of the Halifax Neighbourhood Policing Team said; "Road safety affects everyone, regardless of their age, or ability to drive. Pedestrians, riders, passengers and motorists all use the districts road on a daily basis and it is vital they can do so safely.

"Operation Hawmill's focus is on the fatal four offences, but also seeks to address issues such as vehicles with no insurance, and those being used anti-socially, often causing great distress to communities.

"Previously teams have also detained suspects wanted for other offences in and around the district whilst on their patrols.

"It is the driver's responsibility to ensure the vehicle they are driving is road worthy, insured and that they drive safely. Any drivers breaking the law will be penalised and action taken against them as we continue in our commitment to keeping our communities safe.

"Originally Operation Hawmill focussed on known 'hot spot' areas, however going forward the whole of Calderdale will feature in the proactive deployments."

Calderdale Council's Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said:

"Operational Hawmill has been really successful in tackling important issues related to road safety and the anti-social use of vehicles, and I'm delighted that the operation is to continue, on roads right across the borough.

"However we choose to travel, we all want to feel safe. This operation will clamp down on drivers who fail to abide by the laws that are there for everyone's safety."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, welcomed the initiative.

"This is yet another example of how working together with partners can make a real difference," he said.

"Road safety is a significant issue for people and frequently raised as a concern by the public, so any operations designed to make the roads safer for users can only be a good thing.

"We have seen the huge success of the similar Operation Steerside in Bradford which just shows how effective roads policing can be. As well as being incredibly effective, these initiatives should serve as a warning to those flouting the law and potentially putting lives at risk that they will be caught and put before the courts."

You can find out more about Operation Hawmill by following the local police on Twitter @WYP_Halifax and @WYP_CldrValleys using the hashtag #OpHawmill

*Image from right to left, PCSO Joel Clayton of Halifax Neighbourhood Policing Team, WYFRS Watch Manager Oliver Crossland, Sarah Barker Senior Community Resilience Officer for Calderdale Council, PC Richard Hirst of the Western Area Safer Roads and Neighbourhood Support Team, PS Ben Doughty and PCSO Craig Dixon both of Halifax Neighbourhood Policing Team.

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