Gendarmes walk to the British beat

French police officers will be patrolling British streets in the second leg of an exchange focusing on traffic issues.

The three officers from the Gendarmerie Nationale will be crossing the channel to join officers from Kent Police this weekend, where they will look at a range of concerns such as speeding and the disruption caused by foreign lorries.

It follows a visit by three officers from Kent Police to the Pas de Calais region of northern France in August, in response to the high number of speeding British motorists in the area.

During the French leg of the visit, officers from Kent Police observed as their counterparts checked motorists' driving documents and examined the condition of their vehicles, which will be mirrored here.

The officers will also look at Operation Stack, the measure implemented whenever problems with Channel crossings lead to a backlog of traffic at the county's ports.

Freight traffic is held on the M20 causing huge volumes of traffic to be diverted on to surrounding roads and villages, and has been exacerbated by the recent fire in the Channel Tunnel.

A spokesman for Kent Police said the aim of the exchange was to find out more about how each other's forces deal with shared traffic issues on either side of the Channel.

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