Roadside sobriety checks set to restart – Commissioner
Police roadside sobriety checks are set to make a comeback as curfew restrictions during the pandemic crisis are eased.
Police Commissioner Stephen Corbishley said curfews had benefited police “significantly” in catching drivers suspected of being over the limit.
He added: “As we see the curfew alleviated, then we will see roadside sobriety checkpoints come in.”
He cautioned that the programme took heavy staffing, with 14 to 16 officers needed to run a checkpoint.
At a press conference this afternoon, Mr Corbishley also highlighted the high-speed driving on the island’s roads seen close to the start of the nightly curfew.
“Some nights it was like Formula One,” he said. “Actually, I think it was more through luck we didn’t see serious injuries.”
The Commissioner said the island’s CCTV camera network, said to number about 150 units, had potential to intercept speeders but was under review to be upgraded, as the island’s harsh environment takes a toll.
He declined to discuss how many cameras were out of commission, as they are used in crime prevention, and admitted upgrades would take some time in “times of austerity”.
But Mr Corbishley said there were “opportunities” to use the devices for tracking speeders, by monitoring specific drivers between cameras to clock their average speed.
The details emerged as Mr Corbishley and Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell discussed concerns over motorcycle theft raised through social media.
Mr Cardwell said “year over year, trends are going down” with motorcycle theft.
So far 2021 has seen a slight rise: from January 1 to May 31, 2021 there were 193 bike thefts reported, with 82 recovered.
During the same period in 2020 the island saw 195 motorcycle theft complaints with 55 vehicles recovered by police.
Mr Cardwell urged bike owners to notify police if they recovered their vehicles themselves
He added: “Often we stop someone on a reported stolen motorcycle only to learn the rider is the owner.”
Mr Cardwell cautioned bike owners to protect their vehicles.
He said that breaking the handlebar lock on a bike took thieves a few seconds, while the ignition was easily bypassed, allowing a thief to kick-start the vehicle and drive away.
He said in “the vast majority of cases” bikes were not properly secured – or the key would be left in the lockbox or ignition.
Mr Cardwell said video footage of motorcycle thefts was best shared with police, while posting the images on social media would impede a prosecution.
He added: “It may assist in the recovery of a stolen bike, but publishing incidents like this can at times significantly hamper an investigation.”
Police chases of stolen motorcycles could occur “weekly, sometimes daily”, he said.
“We do catch them – and we do prosecute them.”