A CRACKDOWN on law-flouting motorists is targeting Keighley. Operation Steerside, which has run successfully across the district since 2016, is being stepped-up in the town. Cash from Keighley Town Council and money seized from criminals through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) is being used to fund the new campaign. Dangerous and irresponsible drivers will face the full force of the West Yorkshire Police initiative. Since Operation Steerside first hit the road, 13,000 motorists have been dealt with and more than 1,000 vehicles seized. Last year, the town council stumped-up £6,000 for a Keighley-focused blitz, which alone netted over 300 offenders. This time, councillors have agreed to provide £10,000, matching funds from POCA.
Cllr Michael Westerman, chairman of the town council’s watch and transport committee, said: “The results last year were fantastic and I’m delighted that we’re supporting the new campaign.
“My hope is that the last operation put the awareness message out there and that this time we will see less people caught.”
The intensification of the scheme in Keighley is welcomed by the town’s MP, John Grogan.
He says residents regularly contact him with concerns about speeding and other traffic and crime issues.
And Mr Grogan recently chaired a meeting with the police and district and town councillors to discuss the matter.
“Keighley has been blighted by a small number of dangerous drivers who seem to have little regard for pedestrians or others on the road,” said Mr Grogan.
“Operation Steerside has carried out some work in the town, but this extra funding will enable a more concerted crackdown on traffic offences for months ahead.”
Keighley Central councillor Zafar Ali, the current Lord Mayor of Bradford, also applauds the stepping-up of the venture.
He said a lot of people in the Highfield area of his ward in particular had voiced anxieties about speeding and anti-social driving.
“It is a major concern to residents and I welcome the fact the operation is being extended in Keighley,” he added.
West Yorkshire Police confirmed the allocation of POCA funding to back the Keighley initiative.
A spokesman added: “Police in Bradford district are working with the local authority and other partners to support this ongoing enforcement operation.
“Operation Steerside continues to address concerns about standards of driving in the district through the seizure of uninsured and unsafe vehicles and positively dealing with road traffic offences.”
Support is also voiced by Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
He said: “I am very supportive of the work West Yorkshire Police does with partners to improve road safety.
“Operation Steerside is just one of a number of important initiatives across the force area which is helping to address public concerns about standards of driving.”
Earlier this year, police announced they were broadening the work of Steerside to also include a wider focus on nuisance and anti-social driving.