Surrey's Police and Crime Commissioner has met with a brand new team dedicated to reducing serious and fatal crashes on the county’s roads.

Lisa Townsend has thrown her support behind the Vanguard Road Safety Team, which began patrolling in Surrey during the autumn of 2022.

Officers target motorists committing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences: inappropriate speed, not wearing a seatbelt, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, distracted driving, including looking at a mobile phone, and careless driving.

Ms Townsend said: “Each and every crash is preventable and behind every victim is a family, friends and a community. While most people are safe motorists, there are some who selfishly and willingly risk both their own lives and the lives of others.

“It’s great news that the Vanguard team will be proactively tackling these drivers.”

Vanguard has been fully-staffed since October, with two sergeants and 10 PCs serving across two teams.

Sergeant Trevor Hughes said: “We use of a mix of visible policing and unmarked vehicles to stop drivers from committing Fatal 5 offences.

“Motorists who drive dangerously should beware – we can’t be everywhere, but we could be anywhere.”

As well as patrolling, officers from the team also use the services of data researcher Chris Ward to crack down on the county’s worst drivers.

Sergeant Dan Pascoe, who previously lead investigations into fatal collisions in Surrey’s roads policing unit, said: “It is always devastating and heart-wrenching to visit the families of victims in the hours after a fatal crash.

“I would urge every Surrey driver to make sure they’re always paying full attention when they’re behind the wheel. The consequences of even a momentary distraction can be unimaginable.”

In 2020, 28 people were killed and 571 were seriously injured on Surrey’s roads.

Between 2019 and 2021:

* 648 people were killed or seriously injured by speed-related crashes on Surrey’s roads – 32 per cent of the total

* 455 people by crashes involving careless driving – 23 per cent

* 71 people by crashes where seatbelts weren’t worn – 11 per cent

* 192 people in crashes involving drink-or drug-driving – 10 per cent

* 90 people in crashes involved distracted driving, for example motorists using their phones – four per cent.