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Last updated: 17 August 14:30
We routinely receive over 1,000 calls a day. Earlier this month, our control room received its 150,000th call of the year. To put that into context, that’s about a 20-25% increase to the same period in 2017.
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This week Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit officers are taking part in a national enforcement campaign focused on the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.
As part of the planned enforcement, officers will use an unmarked police detection van, equipped with cameras designed to catch mobile phone users in the act while driving.
The van will be used as part of a planned week of action, in which road policing officers will crack down on members of the public who use a mobile phone while driving.
Inspector Chris Huggins said: “The unmarked detection van has proven to be a vital tool in targeting drivers in a range of vehicles who use a mobile phone illegally.
“Often members of the public will put their phone away when they see a marked police vehicle, but the knowledge of an unmarked van on patrol may hopefully deter a greater number of people from being irresponsible and using their phone behind the wheel.”
The van is equipped with front and side cameras, purposely designed to catch lorries, vans and car drivers who are using mobile devices illegally.
Last year across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, 2,047 people were caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel by the tri-force unit.
In order to establish areas of public concern regarding mobile phone use while driving, the tri-force Road Policing Unit (RPU) asked members of the public which areas they would like to see a greater police presence.
RPU Operational Support Sergeant, Andy Spencer said: “We understand how frustrating it is for the public who repeatedly see people using a phone while driving, potentially putting others at risk in their local community.
“Throughout this week of action, we are actively responding to responses we have had from the public on Twitter suggesting which areas they would like to see us patrol.”