Councillors and residents are claiming that roundabouts off the A50 have been hit by a bout of incidents where drivers deliberately cause crashes with other vehicles so they can fraudulently claim insurance and expenses.
But Derbyshire police have reacted by saying that people are not reporting the incidents to them and are instead raising the alarm on social media.
Derbyshire county councillor Julie Patten said that getting residents to report crimes to the police instead of to Facebook groups is “like banging your head into a brick wall”.
The comments were made at an area forum hosted by South Derbyshire District Council in Hilton.
During the meeting, Mrs Patten said that a number of “crash for cash” incidents – as they are sometimes called – had been occurring on the A50 slip-road roundabouts to the north of Hilton.
Crash for cash incidents involve a fraudster driver staging an accident in order to falsely claim money from other motorists – typically through demanding money on the spot instead of being settled by insurance companies.
The staged accidents often involve drivers slowing down and braking hard in front of other drivers, causing the other motorist to crash into their vehicle.
Mrs Patten, who is also a district councillor, said these incidents were all reported on Spotted: Hilton, a community Facebook group.
She said: “They (the offenders) seem to be switching it up recently, reversing into people instead of stopping in front of them.
“They tend to move around, they will do a few at one spot and then move somewhere else.”
District councillor David Muller added: “I have been hearing a lot more are on the A50 near the Toyota roundabout.”
Derbyshire PCSO Kerry Wallington-Waite said that residents had only been reporting the incidents on social media instead of to the police.
She said that police “do not monitor Facebook” and said that only one incident had actually been reported to the police – making them aware of the issue.
PCSO Wallington-Waite said that incidents need to be reported to create further intelligence on where they are taking place and how often so that police resources could be deployed accordingly.