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Specials join forces for police operation at busy level crossing - Exeter

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Red Cow level crossing

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Special police officers from British Transport Police and Devon and Cornwall Police joined forces for a level crossing and driving offences operation at Exeter St David’s railway station on Friday (8/12).

The operation was entirely planned and organised by Special Constables from both British Transport Police and Devon and Cornwall Police, who support their community by volunteering.

They worked alongside officers from the Devon and Cornwall Polie and Dorset Police Alliance Roads Policing Team.

Special Constables and regular officers from both forces, including some plain clothes officers, were positioned around the busy Red Cow level crossing, the surrounding roads, and on trains travelling between Exeter St David’s and Tiverton Parkway.

The officers were there to educate and inform people of the dangers of misuing level crossings and committing motoring offences.

During the operation, more than 50 vehicles were stopped.
This included seven people for using mobile phones whilst driving, 10 for driving without wearing a seatbelt, one with defective tyres, two with no MOT, seven for driving without insurance, one for failing to comply (by running the lights), two for driving under the influence of alcohol and around 20 who had faulty lights.

BTP’s Special Chief Officer Ben Clifford said: “We have seen time and time again people risking their lives by not using level crossings correctly.

“Impatience, ignorance, being under the influence – these are all reasons why some people might put themselves and others at risk by misusing a level crossing.

“In the past we’ve seen motorists driving over the level crossing when the barriers are down, drivers ignoring the warning signs or flashing lights, and even pedestrians climbing over the safety barriers.

“We’ve seen numerous near misses, sadly some serious injuries, and in some tragic cases, fatalities.

“By using officers from both forces, including our skilled volunteers, for this joint operation today, we can have an enhanced presence to deal with offenders on the trains and at the level crossing, as well as people travelling on the train who then may get into their car and commit driving offences.

“It’s not just about catching criminals, it’s about education.

“Level crossings are safe if used correctly. We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable festive season. We don’t want to be knocking on doors to tell someone their loved one has been injured or killed as a result of misusing a level crossing or driving under the influence.”

Sgt Nick Bloomfield from Devon and Cornwall Police Roads Policing Team said: “This is a good example of police officers with different but complimentary skill sets, powers and jurisdictions working together towards the common aim of educating the public about the dangers of poor driving behaviours, ultimately to keep our communities safer.”

Devon and Cornwall Police Special Chief Officer Marc Kastner said: “I am really please that volunteer police officers from Devon and Cornwall Police and British Transport Police are working together to make travelling on the rail network even safer. Volunteer police officers can support their regular colleagues like in this operation, Op Phantom, to make a real difference.”

Notes for editors
To request an interview with SPC Connor Diamond please email
Specials are part time, volunteer police officers who have the same powers and wear the same uniform as their full time colleagues. 
Further information about the BTP Special Constabulary is available on our website.
Further information about the Devon and Cornwall Special Constabulary is available on their website.
More information about level crossing safety is available on our website.  

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