A12: Extra Police Patrols After Bridge Incidents

Extra police are patrolling the A12 near Chelmsford following previous incidents where objects have been thrown from bridges onto cars.

Detectives are treating two incidents in December last year as attempted murder but whoever was responsible is yet to be found.

On December 1st a woman who was a front seat passenger received rib and facial fractures when a concrete block smashed through a car's windscreen. Her husband, who was driving, suffered cuts. 

It happened as the vehicle passed under West Hanningfield Road bridge, near Galleywood.

At about 9.25pm on the same evening, a car passing under Fryerning Lane bridge, Ingatestone, had its windscreen smashed by a large rock.

The driver and passenger were unharmed but badly shaken.

Numerous other incidents where vehicles had been damaged had been reported in previous years and historically occurred between November and January. 

Most of the incidents happened between Mountnessing and Boreham.

Widespread police investigations have been carried out and detectives are continuing appeals for information about any of the incidents or any potential suspects.

Extra patrols are now being carried out on the A12 and around rural and residential areas on either side of bridges.

Drivers using the A12 or roads and lanes leading to bridges are urged to be vigilant especially at night and to report any suspicious incidents or people loitering on bridges.

The Highways Agency will be putting up special information signs near A12 bridges in the Chelmsford area to help drivers give a precise location when reporting anything suspicious.

People living near A12 bridges are being asked to be particularly vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to police, especially if they notice any rocks, stones or moulded concrete blocks missing from their front gardens.

Chief Supt Simon Williams, head of Essex Police's Operational Policing Command, said: "Essex Police treats incidents of missiles being thrown from bridges on to the road as extremely serious, the consequences of such an act puts road users in danger of serious injury as well as significant delays on the roads.

"In order to combat those that wish to put others in danger, Essex Police will be deploying additional patrols to those areas that have experienced this type of incident previously and will prosecute anybody identified as responsible."

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