24 hours with the Sussex snow police

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Although snow-related problems are beginning to ease on the East Sussex roads, Sussex Police are advising people to still consider if their journey is absolutely essential and if so, to make sure that they are prepared for their trip.

Ch Supt Paul Morrison, head of Operations, said: “Even though it seems as though the worst of the weather may have passed, it is very important that you listen to local radio for updates and take notice of the warnings.

“If you travel, make sure that you’re equipped for extremes - a blanket, a flask of hot drink, water, food, a fully charged mobile phone and a shovel, for example.

“If you’re staying at home, please keep an eye out for elderly and vulnerable - check on your neighbours and make sure they’re warm and safe.

“There is an enormous demand on the emergency services at the moment, but if someone needs medical attention or is in danger, don’t hesitate to call 999 immediately.

“I would particularly like to thank the scores of volunteers, including those from the Red Cross and many individual 4x4 owners, who have turned out to assist the emergency services over the last 24 hours.

“All agencies have been working tirelessly to assist people who have been affected by the weather, especially those who have been particularly vulnerable because of age or medical reasons.”

Sussex Police received nearly 2,500 emergency and non-emergency calls in the 24 hours up to 9am today (Tuesday March 12), around 700 more than an average March weekday.

In the 24 hours up until 9am on Tuesday morning, they received 228 road traffic collision reports, of which two involved serious injury and 16 resulted in slight injuries. In total, there were 771 road-related calls.

A 19-year-old woman received head injuries when her car was involved in a collision with two others on the M23 near Crawley shortly before 11pm on Monday night (March 11). She was taken to the East Surrey Hospital by ambulance. The cars, a Nissan Almera, a Volkswagen Golf and an Audi A3.

A 25-year-old motorcyclist from Harlow in Essex suffered a broken leg when his motorbike was in collision with a Volkswagen Golf in Ockley Road, Bognor Regis at 3.30pm yesterday.

He was taken to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester. The Volkswagen driver, a 42-year-old woman from Bognor Regis was uninjured. There is no indication this was a weather-related collision.

In Portslade, PC Julian Harrison-Jones, PC Emma Gee and Sgt Chris Durrant came to the rescue of an injured man in Portslade at around 8.30pm who had been waiting for almost two hours in his car for an ambulance.

The victim had got out of his car to try and avoid an oncoming bus, but his own car then started to moved and ran over his leg.

What should have been a five minute journey from Hove to Portslade ended up taking an hour as the officers fought their way by car and then on foot to reach the injured man. Several times they had to get out and help move vehicles that were stuck on Hangleton Lane.

When they reached the injured man, a public-spirited driver helped to transport him to the police car and then he was driven to John Street police station in Brighton where an ambulance was flagged down to take him to hospital.

PCSOs are out in force across the county and in Eastbourne PCSO Anita Rockingham has been making contact with several elderly people on her beat to check that they are OK and to make a trip to the local shop if they’re short of essentials.

In Woodingdean, former soldier PCSO Christopher Kingswood called upon his Bear Grylls-style survival training when he became stranded after hours of helping drivers stuck on the A259 and A27.

He bedded down in a very cramped police box, head and feet touching both ends! He managed a few hours’ kip before being back out on duty at 7am.