A motorist who thought it was funny to obstruct a Northamptonshire Police mobile enforcement van deliberately has been left counting the cost of his actions.
On Thursday, April 22, this year Gavin Lynch parked his vehicle directly behind the enforcement van on the A5 (Watling Street) in Weedon, in a bid to stop the operator from carrying out his duties.
The 34-year-old of St Peters Way in Northampton filmed himself as he walked off laughing, which he then shared to a closed Facebook group page boasting about his actions.
Lynch returned to his vehicle 45 minutes later and moved it even closer to the enforcement van before getting an electric scooter from the rear of his car and riding off.
As his vehicle was in the process of being recovered, he returned once again but this time he was arrested for obstructing a special constable in the execution of his duty and taken into custody.
In a police interview, Lynch claimed he could not start his van after filling up with fuel and so had pushed it behind the police vehicle while he left to replace his key-fob battery.
He also stated his electric scooter had to be manually operated – neither of which was corroborated by CCTV evidence.
Lynch was charged with two counts of obstructing Northamptonshire Police staff in the execution of their duty, riding a motor vehicle with no insurance and riding a motor vehicle on a footpath.
On Friday, September 3, he pleaded guilty at Northampton Magistrates’ Court and was fined £1,000 and received six penalty points on his driving licence.
He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £100 victim surcharge – this was on top of the £150 to release his vehicle.
The Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley said:
‘Staff, operating this life-saving equipment, have delegated powers to ensure people like Lynch are prosecuted and, where appropriate, arrested.
‘We will prosecute anyone who obstructs the lawful duties of our @northants_SRT and will, if relevant, seize any vehicle used to do so’.
Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Operations Manager, Matthew O’Connell, said:
“The parking location for the van was chosen as the only suitable and safe place to park with a clear and unobstructed view of the road.
“The mobile enforcement team are designated officers acting under the instruction of the Chief Constable, providing enforcement at locations with either a history of collisions or non-compliance as identified by speed data collection.
“I hope this court result acts as a warning to others who might wish to copy this behaviour, that we will not tolerate anyone who wilfully obstructs our officers.”
The A5 was identified as a mobile van enforcement site in July last year, after complaints from residents concerned about traffic noise and speeding vehicles.
A seven-day traffic survey was carried out by the Force which found that a high proportion of drivers were exceeding the 30mph limit.
A temporary flashing VAS sign was initially installed to remind drivers of the speed limit, which has been followed up with visits from the mobile enforcement team.
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