A12 bridge vandals 'could kill'

POLICE have warned that a motorist could be killed after a spate of incidents in which concrete slabs were hurled from bridges onto the A12 in Essex.

Roddy Ashworth

POLICE have warned that a motorist could be killed after a spate of incidents in which concrete slabs were hurled from bridges onto the A12 in Essex.

In one of the mindless attacks, on Saturday evening, a car windscreen was smashed by a large piece of concrete and its 30-year-old driver had to be taken to hospital with severe bruising and an injured arm.

In a separate incident just minutes later, a concrete block was thrown off a bridge causing all four tyres of a grey Honda Civic to puncture.


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Police scrambled the force helicopter and sent traffic officers to the scenes but no suspects were found.

Saturday's events come after similar crimes were reported earlier in the month.

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Chief Insp Tom Diment said last night: “These incidents have now progressed from causing criminal damage to hospitalising one motorist and next time the outcome could be fatal.

“Whoever is responsible for these criminal acts needs to be stopped before someone is killed.

“They can be assured that we will use the full weight of the criminal justice system against them to hold them accountable for their actions.

“We are also particularly interested to find out where the concrete is coming from and would ask anyone who has noticed any going missing, perhaps from a building site or private house, to contact us as soon as possible.”

The first incident on Saturday was at 6.30pm near the A12's junction with the A130 at Howe Green. A large piece of concrete was thrown off a bridge, smashing the windscreen of a blue Ford Escort and injuring its driver, a 30-year-old man from Brentwood.

And later, at around 7.20pm, a concrete block was thrown off a bridge at junction 13 for Brentwood, causing the tyres of a grey Honda Civic to puncture.

Last Monday a motorist reported debris on A12 near Chelmsford causing vehicles to swerve, and at the same time another motorist reported that a concrete block had smashed his windscreen - covering him in glass - near the Galleywood interchange.

Earlier, on November 12, police received reports of concrete being thrown from bridges in both central and west Essex.

Traffic police have increased patrols of the area with the aim of deterring any further incidents and finding those responsible.

Anyone who sees anything suspicious around the A12 and its overhead bridges is asked to contact police immediately on 999.

Officers are also appealing for anyone who has any other information, however minor, to contact them on 0300 333 4444, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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