Police in Turriff have launched a new operation to tackle a long standing issue of antisocial driving in the town centre.
Operation Tractable has been launched in order to deter young drivers from driving in an antisocial manner through the streets, which has been a concern for local residents for many years.
Formartine Inspector, Jamie Harrison explains
Antisocial driving in Turriff has been a major concern for residents in Turriff for some time and we want to take a firm stance and tackle it once and for all.
Previous operations and enforcement has brought about temporary improvements however this time we want to make a lasting change to improve the quality of life for the local community affected by this selfish behaviour.
Antisocial driving involves speeding, inconsiderate driving, including accelerating harshly, revving engines, driving a ‘circuit’, and making vehicle modifications that result in excessive noise. Another issue is when drivers park inconsiderately, often outwith the designated spaces. The effect of a line of vehicles blocking off parts of a community car park can be intimidating to the public.
Anti Soical driving isn’t the sole domain of younger drivers, drivers who are guilty of parking on pedestrian crossings on the zig zag lines can also expect to have their behaviour challenged.
Inspector Harrison continued
Although we are formally launching Operation Tractable today we have already conducted some enforcement activity. Since April we have carried out high visibility patrols and we have dealt with 27 motorists for relevant offences, 15 have been given antisocial behaviour warnings regarding the manner of their driving and five vehicles have been seized.
I would encourage the community to report their concerns. If you see a vehicle driving antisocially, take note of the vehicle details including registration number and ideally have someone with you who can corroborate the driver’s actions. Report it to us and we will deal with the matter robustly.
I understand that the demographics of Turriff mean that young people will often drive into town to meet up. There is no issue with this, provided they park sensibly, don’t litter and they drive in an appropriate manner.
I would like to make it clear to drivers who choose to act in an antisocial manner when driving in Turriff that we are committed to tackling this issue for the benefit of the community. We will be taking strong action against offenders. If you are caught driving anti socially and breaking the law you will be charged, you may find yourself with penalty points and where the law allows, we will seize your vehicle.
For anyone relying on being able to drive especially for work, the addition of penalty points could push their overall endorsements over the maximum number and they could be faced with being disqualified from driving which could affect employment opportunities.
Also ask yourself, if we seize your vehicle, how will you travel to work or visit friends and family?
In order to create a long lasting effect, we will not only be focussing on enforcement, but working with relevant organisations and partners such as Aberdeenshire Council’s Roads Department, Community Safety, schools and local Councillors to develop longer term solutions to the problem.
We are serious and our actions will send out a strong message to people who drive anti socially in Turriff. Antisocial driving will not be tolerated and we will take firm action against those who continue to drive in a dangerous and inconsiderate manner.
Local Councillor Alisan Norrie commented
I know the Police are regularly responding to reports of antisocial driving and rowdy behaviour in the town. There have been a rising number of complaints from local residents and the Police have responded by increasing their presence at appropriate times.
This operation will encourage individuals and organisations to help and by working directly with the drivers themselves, my hope would be that we will see the issues reduce and perhaps in time stop altogether.
Local Councillor Sandy Duncan added
It must be extremely disturbing for residents, especially in late evening when things are otherwise quiet. I also fear that the eventual outcome of such behaviour will be a child, or older person being hit by a car being driven in such manner.
I therefore welcome the Police increasing their already valiant efforts to stamp out behaviour that is making so many people’s lives a misery.