M6toll, Police and the Highways Agency Declare ‘Game Over’ for Stone Throwers and Trespassers

Police, Midland Expressway Limited (MEL) - operators of the M6toll - and the Highways Agency have declared it's 'Game Over' That is the powerful message in a hard-hitting poster which is part of a joint summer education campaign being launched today (14 July).

The campaign covers 600 miles of road within the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) area. This includes the M5, M6, M42 and the 27-mile M6toll, where the campaign will begin by targeting the 'hot spot' areas of Chasetown, Brownhills and Burntwood.

The organisations are working together on a number of initiatives.

Over the next two weeks police will be visiting schools and talking to children and teenagers about the dangers of trespass and stone throwing on or near the motorway. Posters and leaflets will be used to educate parents and children about the consequences of 'playing' near a busy road.

The leaflets feature an image of the smashed front windscreen of a lorry driven by Michael Little, from Essex. Mr Little died last year after an object was thrown from a motorway bridge on the M3 in Surrey. He managed to pull the vehicle over to avoid any other traffic, but died later from heart failure.

A 20-year-old man was later jailed for six years after admitting manslaughter.

Inspector Allan Wilson, of the CMPG, said: "In the weeks before school holidays, when teenagers are most likely to be looking for things to do, we are highlighting the dangers of trespassing on the motorway. Not only can they injure themselves, but some incidents can result in injuries to drivers and passengers, sometimes even death.

"The M6toll is a privately owned road but comes under the same legislation and procedures as all public motorways. We are working very closely with MEL to stop and catch anyone attempting to commit an offence, but also want to stop these incidents happening in the first place by talking to teachers, parents and children about the risks.

"Our resources are being focused on all the key areas along the M6toll, and the other motorways that we patrol, to catch and prosecute these criminals."

Tom Fanning, Managing Director of MEL, operators of the M6toll, said: "The safety of everyone using the motorway is our prime concern. We take motorway crime very seriously and meet regularly with police authorities and the Highways Agency to ensure we do all we can to combat incidents of this nature.

"It is often teenagers committing these crimes and they do not fully understand the dangers they pose to themselves and to others. We appeal to parents and people in the locality for their support in the campaign to stop these offences being committed.

"Many parents do not know where their children go during the school holidays, but we are determined to cut down the numbers of incidents and will push for the highest penalties if we catch anyone on the motorway or throwing stones".

MEL and police are urging residents, particularly in the hotspot areas of Chasetown, Brownhills and Burntwood, who see anyone trespassing or stone throwing, to call 999 immediately or to report them to Crime Stoppers, phone O800 555 111. All calls are treated confidentially.