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Caught on camera: 151mph on M23 driver convicted

Police have released video footage which shows the moment a young driver is caught speeding at 151mph on the M23.

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This incident, captured by our safety camera team, recorded the Audi TT RS travelling at more than double the 70mph limit.

The driver was reported for dangerous driving and has since been convicted in court.

To view the footage online, visit the Sussex Police Facebook or Twitter pages.

Its release comes as West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service urges motorists to slow down as part of its speeding prevention month.

Last year, 16 people died and a further 239 were seriously injured by speed-related collisions in Sussex.

Chris Snell, of the Sussex Police Safety Camera Team, said: “Speed restrictions are in place for a reason – they are a legal limit; not a target, and your speed should be adjusted according to the conditions. Exceeding the speed limit is dangerous and can have devastating consequences.

“Every year, our officers have the unenviable task of passing a death message onto numerous families of victims involved in speed-related collisions. It also has a huge impact on emergency services partners who are called to assist with incidents, the vast majority of which could have been avoided.

“Speeding significantly reduces your ability to react to hazards on the road, such as wildlife, debris and other traffic. By the time you become aware of a hazard at such speeds, it could be too late.”

The footage was captured on 25 August 2018 on the M23 northbound at Crawley as part of routine safety and enforcement checks.

Following extensive enquiries, the driver was identified as Ricardo Thompson, 21, a builder, of Belvedere Avenue, Lancing.

He was later summoned before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 22 May to face a charge of dangerous driving.

In police interview, Thompson was apologetic for his actions, and said his reason for speeding was to get to work on time.

He was given credit for his guilty plea and was disqualified from driving for 15 months. He was also required to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.

He will also be required to take an extended retest should he wish to drive again.

At the time of the offence, the safety camera team van was parked on a police ramp in full view of traffic.

This week, WSFRS has launched a social media campaign urging people to cut their speed.

Nicki Peddle, Head of Prevention for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Last year we attended 684 road traffic collisions in West Sussex.

“Attending these incidents is a big part of firefighters’ roles and we want to highlight the potentially fatal consequences of speeding. If drivers maintain a safe speed there is more chance of preventing a tragedy from happening.”

Being caught speeding could result in:

  • Up to six points on your licence;
  • Fine of up to 175% of your weekly income;
  • Driving ban or licence revoked (if you’re still within two years of passing your test);
  • Disqualification;
  • Criminal record;
  • Prison sentence;
  • The death or serious injury of either yourself or an innocent person.

Police

Grab your headset and help someone in their time of need across Sussex

Today sees the launch of Sussex Police’s latest round of contact officer recruitment.

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When the going gets tough, contact officers are there to help. Whether it’s taking a report of a missing person, responding to a burglary or supporting someone in crisis, our contact officers play a vital role in helping keep our communities safe, identifying and protecting the most vulnerable and preventing harm.

Chief Superintendent Paul Betts who leads the Force Control and Command Centre (FCCCD) said:

“We were thrilled with the response to our recruitment campaign earlier this year and are delighted to reopen again today. Our contact officers are an integral part of our front-line, supporting us as we keep Sussex safe and feeling safe, and our recent recruitment has allowed us to provide a better service to the public already.”

“Our contact officers are the essential calm reassurance in someone’s time of need. Whether it’s receiving a call from the scene of a road traffic accident, taking details of a missing person from a concerned relative or responding to online reports of crime; our contact officers are empathetic, supportive and informative.

“It’s a challenging role, no two enquiries are the same, yet it’s one which offers a great sense of pride as we help make a difference, together.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said:

“Contact handlers are the first port of call for people reporting crimes and needing urgent police help, so they need great listening skills, empathy, professionalism and patience. Fortunately Sussex Police continues to receive a very high standard of applicants wanting to join the team and I am sure the next intake will be no different.

“These are essential, unique and fulfilling roles within Sussex Police and I look forward to meeting the new contact handlers once they have been recruited and their training starts.”

Being a contact officer is not your typical nine to five call centre role, ideally you’ll need to be able to work shifts; including nights, weekends and bank holidays. Flexible working is available Monday through to Sunday, from 08:00 to 13:00, or as a job share on the full shift pattern.

You will deal with emergency 999 calls, non-emergency 101 calls, online reporting and social media. Asking the right questions, making threat and risk assessments, listening for vital details and recording information; all while monitoring two screens are vital skills. You will need to be patient, decisive, dynamic and compassion to provide the very best service to the public.

Those who are interested in a career within our FCCCD as a contact officer are encouraged to attend one of the recruitment tours being held at Police Headquarters (Lewes) throughout the application window. You can book a place on a tour here,

Chief Superintendent Betts added:

“If you want to know what life is truly like as a contact officer, then we invite you to come and experience it first-hand on one of our behind the scenes tours. You’ll get to listen into some of the calls you could deal with and meet some of the people who work in the contact and command centre. It’s the perfect opportunity to find out if you’ve got what it takes to work in this demanding, yet incredibly fulfilling roles.”

As the first point of contact for many, engaging with people of all ages and backgrounds, we’re looking for those who can build rapport quickly, show empathy and communicate clearly at all times. Enquiries can include some of the most difficult situations you can think of so compassion and resilience are also important. If you can work under pressure, problem-solve and think quickly then this could be the career for you.

To apply, visit their website

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