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Sheffield close pass operation - 10 miles per prosecution

“A better morning” according to officers – so what does that say about cycling on UK roads?

If there’s one particularly striking feature of police close pass operations, it’s the sheer inevitability that any officer who rides a bike a few miles will gather enough evidence for a whole swathe of prosecutions. A recent police close pass ride in Sheffield resulted in four in the space of just 40 miles.

A quick reminder for those who don’t know. Close pass operations – as pioneered by West Midlands Police – involve plain-clothes officers on bikes equipped with cameras radioing ahead to alert uniformed colleagues of close passes or other instances of poor driving. Motorists are then stopped and shown how to pass cyclists safely or, in some cases, prosecuted.

Sheffield North West NHP uploaded their latest operation, which was run on Tuesday, to Strava.

They described it as “a better morning” in terms of driver behaviour. This is striking when you think about all the millions of miles ridden by cyclists who aren’t police officers, where exactly the same sorts of thing are happening only without the drivers being stopped.

Inspector Smith wrote: "Part of our winter drink drive operation. Four vehicles identified completing dangerous overtakes and two issued tickets for dangerous overtakes and one getting a summons through the post. Only one overtake suitable for education.

“On the whole a better morning than we have had in the past but also the nature of the impatience and poor decision making of these drivers meant a higher proportion of tickets issued."

The force highlighted a couple of the manoeuvres on Twitter.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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