In recent weeks both Cllr Ashley Evans and I have received a large increase in complaints about speeding traffic. This isn’t just a case of people driving a few miles of the speed limit, but some seriously dangerous and reckless driving with people racing around Halifax in some very fast cars. It’s clear that a state of lawlessness has existed on our roads with a minimum amount of Police enforcement. We have raised this concerns both with the local Police, and the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson. You can read the letter I sent to Mr Burns-Williamson on the subject here (PCC Letter). Other Councillors have also been raising this issue, and it was raised at our last full Council meeting.
The good news is that Colin Skeath the Halifax Neighbourhood Inspector has emailed Councillors to inform us that the Police have put operation Hawmill in action. I’ve posted up a section of Colin’s email so it can be explained in his own words:
As you know poor driving, speeding and anti-social use of the roads is one of our biggest concerns in the community. I am sure that you, like me, will have many complaints around this issue and recognise the dangers of poor driving and the need for us to act.
In response I have implemented Operation Hawmill which involves the deployment of a dedicated Road Traffic Officer in a high powered car (SRANS) in company with an NPT officer. This deployment is on overtime and is over and above normal policing.
Areas that will be targeted have been selected in relation to the area where we receive most complaints. They include:-Warley, Park, Town Centre / Boothtown, Skircoat
The operation has been running for two days and so far we have issued 16 endorsable fixed penalty tickets and seized two expensive cars.
Normal deployment of the Pro Lazer and Sid will continue along with various partnership road safety activities.
This operation is good news. However we are told the long term funding for such an operation is not in place. Cllr Evans and I will be campaigning for a continuation of a dedicated traffic officer for Calderdale, one that can also then be deployed in other areas across the Borough that have experienced problems. Give then cost to taxpayers when there is a serious accident (let alone the human tragedy involved) we think spending money on policing like this is a wise use of public funds.