Despite some public views to the contrary, speed enforcement is one aspect of the many-faceted roles discharged by traffic officers. The basic function of traffic patrols is to reduce the number and severity of accidents.
In March/April new speed detecting equipment was introduced in the Force. The TRUVELO is a tube/timing device, converting time and distance into speed and the MUNI-QUIP is a hand held radar unit with considerable flexibility of use.
On December 1978 there were 5,635 registered as living in Sussex.
The eagle has landed
On a lighter note, in May a message was received in our Force Operations Room from Air Traffic Control at Shoreham that a replica of a German ‘Fokker D7’ aircraft en route from Belgium to Shoreham had made an enforced landing somewhere in the Lewes area.
Patrols were warned and subsequently the pilot was traced to a cottage near Ringmer having landed his aircraft in a nearby field as he was running short of fuel.
I am told when Operations Room warned patrols of the presence of a ‘ Fokker 7’ bi-plane of 1971 vintage in the area a few eyebrows were raised and everybody thought it was a ‘flight of fancy’!
The dangers of ferocious animals
Last year in my Annual Report I mentioned a racoon which was captured at Hove having bitten one of our officers. It is surprising how many enquiries are made during the year relating to animals and again in 1978 an incident occurred highlighting the dangers of ferocious animals at large.
One evening a telephone call was received from a man living in the area who said he had cornered a black ferret which had been killing all the cats. The killer had been known locally as the ‘Black Phantom’ and officers dispatched to deal with it took with them a special pole lasso which is used to catch animals on occasions.
Upon arrival the officers were guided by a cry of ‘Help! Over here!’ By torchlight they saw a very respectable gentleman holding something at bay, at arms length. Apprehensively the officers crept forward shedding more light on the scene and beheld a very small forlorn hedgehog which had retired into the inevitable ball of prickles!