Number of fatal or serious hit and run incidents in Havering has more than doubled in two years

The number of fatal or serious hit-and-run incidents on Havering’s roads more than doubled between 2009 and 2011, new Met figures show.

Last year saw eight incidents classed as “serious” and one fatality – compared with four serious and no fatalities in 2009.

The total number of hit-and-run incidents has also increased, but less steeply. In all, there were 92 incidents during the course of the year, an average of one every four days – two up on 2009, but 17 more than in 2010, which saw a dip compared with the previous year.

“Hit and run is truly a cowardly crime,” said Amy Aeron-Thomas, executive director of road death charity Roadpeace. “Full use of CCTV should be made to identify the offenders.

“Standard practice should be to charge anyone caught with attempting to pervert the course of justice. TfL are currently consulting on their road safety plan and there is a strong call for greater priority to be given to traffic law enforcement.”

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According to the Met, hit and run incidents made up about 15 per cent of all collisions in which people were injured in the borough last year. Seventy-four incidents involved people being killed or seriously injured, placing Havering 20th in London.

Car drivers and car passengers are the most likely to be injured in these incidents, with the most common victims being males aged 16 to 29.

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A police spokesman said Havering hoped to lower the number of crashes in which people were killed or seriously injured by at least eight per cent this year, to 68 or fewer. So far this year there have been 40 incidents.

“Driver behaviours we target are largely speed-related such as driving in a hurry, travelling too fast for conditions, exceeding the speed limit and following too closely,” he added. “Poor manoeuvres and disobeying road signs and traffic lights are also targeted.”

The spokesman said the borough’s “hot spots” for collisions included the A12 Eastern Avenue junction with Havering Road, Gallows Corner, the A12 Eastern Avenue junction with Mawney Road and the junction of St Edwards Way and Waterloo Road in Romford.

Havering’s last fatal hit and run took place in January last year, when 60-year-old Peter Scott was killed after being hit by a car while crossing Collier Row Lane, Romford.

The Met press office said the driver, Darren Harris of White Hart Lane, Romford, failed to stop, but later gave himself up at Romford police station.

Harris was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving at Basildon Crown Court in March this year, having pleaded not guilty, and was sentenced to four years in prison and seven years’ disqualification from driving.

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