Rock attacks rife in county

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ROCK attacks on motorists are commonplace in Derbyshire, with one attack a week recorded in the county.

A Freedom of Information request put to policing authorities across the UK showed that Derbyshire is the fourth worst-affected county, with 51 missile attacks recorded last year.

The county came behind Nottinghamshire and Northumbria – each with 64 reported incidents – and Lancashire, where 125 incidents were reported.

Less affected areas include Cambridgeshire with four incidents in 2011, and the City of London which recorded just two.

In 2011, 27 of the 51 missile attacks involved items being thrown at cars from bridges, with rocks, bricks and wood the most commonly used weapons.

Buns, balls and fruit were also reported to have been used.

Police were alerted last November when three youths were seen throwing missiles onto cars from a footbridge over the A617 Hasland bypass.

A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesperson, said: “Throwing stones, of whatever size, at cars is a foolish and dangerous thing to do. Serious injuries could be caused if a windscreen smashes or a driver swerves off the road after an attack like this. Fortunately there haven’t been any such cases in the county during the last few years.

“We treat every case seriously and anyone who is found acting in such an irresponsible way will be dealt with appropriately.”

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “Dropping rocks and missiles on cars while they are moving is an incredibly dangerous thing to do which can end up killing somebody.

“The police treat it as a very serious matter and anyone caught doing this could end up in prison. Data needs to continue to be collected to help monitor trends and help identify the perpetrators.”

ellie.hunter@derbyshiretimes.co.uk