After a joint investigation between Southend News Network and Rayleigh Express, we can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that a bitter dispute between Essex and Kent Police has led to a LAWLESS ZONE between the two counties at the Dartford Crossing.
According to one source, ‘devastating’ funding cuts have meant that both forces are desperately trying to prove that the stretches of the bridge and the tunnel that are directly above and below the River Thames are the jurisdiction of the other force.
Our source added: ‘Everything came to a head on one Saturday a few weeks ago when a member of the public called 999 from his car to say that two adults were having intercourse on the bridge and a few cars had stopped to watch.’
‘According to the recordings, Essex Police took the call and decided to radio their Kent counterparts to report a ‘Code Brown’ (this is the mutually-agreed description for a dogging incident) as most of their officers were already dealing with a 260-man brawl at Festival Leisure Park in Basildon.’
‘A few moments later, a response was received to say that Kent Police officers would also be unable to attend as a misprice at Bluewater Marks and Spencer had led to widespread civil unrest.’
‘By the time that both radio teams had finished playing Rock Paper Scissors to see who should attend the scene, the perpetrators had already finished up, wiped up, zipped up and driven off.’
We spoke to a number of regular users of the Dartford Crossing, and many of them confirmed that they had seen crimes taking place over the last few weeks.
Dave Friggit is a freight driver, and he said: ‘I knew something was up the other week when I accidentally hit 125 mph in my tanker going across the bridge – I’ve still not had a letter.’
Another member of the public, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: ‘It’s getting beyond a joke in the tunnels now – I’ve seen it all over the last few days.’
‘I was driving home from work on Thursday and traffic in the tunnel ground to a halt. Within a few seconds, someone was knocking on my window to ask me if I wanted any cleaning products, lucky heather or an AK-47 assault rifle. A man was even smoking in a car with his kids in the back. Madness.’
This isn’t the first time that both forces have fallen out over territorial issues. Essex Police lawyers went to the Supreme Court in 1999 when growing levels of crime on Canvey led to the force trying to prove that the island was actually Kentish territory.