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Action taken against antisocial behaviour and driving offences in Cheddar Gorge

Police car at sunset

A number of motorists were reported for driving offences during a joint operation between Avon and Somerset Police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in Cheddar Gorge at the weekend.

Members of the Sedgemoor neighbourhood police team and Special Constabulary carried out proactive action in the area on Sunday 10 October following ongoing community concerns relating to antisocial behaviour.

The operation, which also saw two people dealt with for drug-related matters, was put in place to engage with members of the public to offer reassurance to them that the issue remains a priority for the local team, as well as to identify any offences that occur so appropriate action could be taken.

On Sunday, police used their dispersal powers after a large group of people and vehicles gathered within the Gorge, some of which were causing antisocial behaviour.

Other action taken by police included:

  • Arrest of a 21-year-old male for driving while under the influence of a class A and B substance
  • One male was found in possession of a controlled class B drug and will attend a voluntary police interview
  • Fixed penalty notices were also issued to one motorist for not having a legal number plate attached to the front of their vehicle and a second for obstruction of a no entry route.

The DVSA also dealt with a number of offences too including:

  • Deficient body panels
  • Faulty lights
  • Number plate faults
  • Exhaust issues

“I know how frustrated local people feel about the antisocial driving that occurs in Cheddar Gorge so I am pleased to see that this collaboration between Avon and Somerset Police and the DVSA was a success.

“I know driving offences in this area is a priority for the local team, as reflected in their high-visibility patrols, and I encourage residents to speak to officers and continue to raise your concerns. By speaking to more and more local people, officers can gain further insight into this problem.

“As for the minority who think it is acceptable to drive in an unsafe manner, it’s not; you are not only putting yourself in danger but other people too. This is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

PCC Mark Shelford

Neighbourhood Inspector Andrew Pritchard said: “Cheddar Gorge is a wonderful place to visit and we know how greatly it is valued by the local community.

“But we are equally aware that it can attract antisocial behaviour and motorists who think they can drive in an unsafe manner. Neither is acceptable and the neighbourhood team regularly conduct high-visibility patrols to help root out those problems and engage with the community to explain what we are doing.

“We are grateful to the DVSA for supporting our efforts on Sunday and will look to conduct similar operations with them in due course. We hope the fines issued and potential legal proceedings that may also follow will act as a warning to people.”

“DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

“We were glad to support our colleagues at Avon and Somerset Police in cracking down on dangerous vehicles in Cheddar Gorge.

“We found numerous examples of vehicles that could be risk to their owners and other road users, and hope the local community is reassured we were able to step in to help prevent potential incidents.”

DVSA Enforcement Delivery Manager Ross Trott