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‘Think before you park’ education message shared with Corby motorists

A joint police and fire service operation has taken place in Corby to tackle inconsiderate parking and ensure emergency vehicle access.

On Sunday, 3 September officers from Corby Town Neighbourhood Policing Team and firefighters from Corby fire station’s Green Watch took a fire engine down residential streets in the Oakley Vale and Great Oakley areas to see if it could easily get through.

These patrols identified 15 parked vehicles which would have prevented emergency access, including incidents of double parking, and vehicles parked on corners or obstructing junctions. All but one of the owners were located on the day and after being given advice, moved their vehicles.

The idea for the patrols came from Corby/Kettering Safer Community Team Officer PC Mark Walker and his colleague PC Brad Wilson, who spoke to drivers alongside the Green Watch firefighters.

PC Wilson, of the Corby Town Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “One of the ways we’ve decided to approach parking issues in Corby is to work with Green Watch to highlight the obstructions caused by road users, more often than not unintentionally, to emergency service access.

“Fire clearly poses a big risk to people’s safety, and an emergency vehicle of that size being unable to gain access could be very serious. This is why we’ve worked in this area to educate vehicle owners and drivers about the possible obstruction they are causing to emergency vehicles.”

He added no tickets were issued during the exercise and said it would be continued in other areas of the town in the future.

Green Watch commander Dave Smith, of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Any incident, whether for police or fire, is time-critical. Inconsiderate parking may have life-threatening implications on us getting to where we need to be.

“This was a great opportunity to give advice around an on-going issue by making residents aware that some of the parking in these areas could cause serious issues. The feedback from residents was positive and people understood the problems bad parking can cause.”

Parking is a locally identified priority in Corby. These are concerns or issues raised by residents for neighbourhood policing teams to concentrate on.

Kettering & Corby community Inspector Julie Mead said: “Action like this is a fantastic way to raise awareness of an issue that affects lots of people in the town.

“It’s great that our fire colleagues came along to provide a visual demonstration of how challenging and dangerous inconsiderate parking can be, as well as provide reassurance to the community.”

Corby and Kettering residents can have their say on local policing priorities at http://bit.ly/2jsgGBC

Find your local policing team at www.northants.police.uk/neighbourhoods

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