NPT keeps up the pressure tackling vehicle nuisance in Kettering
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With tackling anti-social behaviour a matter of priority for Northamptonshire Police, local police in Kettering are continuing their good work reducing vehicle nuisance across the town.
Members of the Kettering Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) have been taking action against inconsiderate and dangerous drivers and riders since the summer, as well as educating people about how to travel safely and legally, carrying out around 60 interactions a month.
Their work has seen them target car drivers, motorcyclists and e-scooter riders, and has seen a number of Section 59 warnings issued under the Police Reform Act 2002, giving owners a one-strike warning that if their vehicles are used inappropriately they can be seized and removed.
The NPT's work includes ongoing patrols on the lookout for motorcycle-based nuisance, including in Weekley Woods.
The teams have also been working with e-scooter hire firm Voi, educating riders that they cannot ride on pavements and must hold a driving licence. Repeat offenders have had their Voi accounts suspended and even banned, and parents allowing children to ride Voi e-scooters have been warned they will be liable for any traffic offences committed, putting their own driving licences at risk.
Where people have been found riding privately owned e-scooters – which cannot legally be ridden on any public road – riders have been told to get off and push home, with officers checking up to ensure this happens. If people are found to have got back on, they risk having the e-scooter seized.
PC Mick Leonard, who has been leading this work within Kettering NPT with colleague PC Mike Ryan, said: “The main issue we’re working to tackle as an NPT is anti-social behaviour relating to vehicles, not just relating to e-scooters but also to boy racers in cars and reports of nuisance motorcycling.
“While our initial engagements with people focussed on educating them about what they have been doing wrong, we’ve also been collecting details every time and where people have been found to be repeating the behaviour, we’re taking steps regarding enforcement, issuing Section 59 warnings and fixed penalty notices too.
“We know some drivers and riders just won’t listen, but we’re keeping going and will be starting to crank up the enforcement work as the educational side has been going for a while. We won’t allow the actions of a dangerous few to endanger people in our town.”
This privately-owned e-scooter was seized on October 15 after the rider had already been warned it was illegal for it to be ridden in public.
Problem sites for car-based vehicle nuisance include supermarket car parks, which some drivers have been surprised to learn are classed as a road, leaving them open to penalty fines and even arrest and prosecution for any motoring offences committed there.
PC Leonard said: “Whether people are trying to race, do donuts or burnouts, we’ve been going along to engage with them and warn of the consequences of what they are doing. Repeat offenders are getting tickets where necessary, with cars also seized when found to have no tax or insurance.”
Action is also being taken against cars and vans left parked on the footpath having been registered with the DVLA as off the road – pavements are classed as part of the highway, so any vehicle declared as SORN cannot be kept there and must be moved to private property or it can be seized.
PC Leonard said: “Working across the town, including in areas where we know there’s a lot of problem driving like the Grange estate, has led to good community feedback and we’re definitely seeing behavioural change as people listen and learn, so they can ride and drive safely and legally, helping to keep everyone in Kettering that bit safer out and about.”