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Over 70 vehicles stopped in multi-agency operation

posted 18 Dec 2018, 02:54 by Chris Hoare

An operation to target criminals using Suffolk’s roads has seen more than 70 vehicles stopped in Ipswich.
Officers from the Scorpion Teams Specialist Operations including Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, the Road Casualty Reduction Team, the Dog Unit
together with partner agencies DVSA, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Gangmaster Licensing Agency. The checks took place at Sainsbury’s on Hadleigh Road in Ipswich on Friday 14 December.

Four arrests were made after a total of 71 vehicles were escorted to the site for checks during the day.
The aim of the operation was to disrupt criminal activity, to catch those committing driving offences
, to remove unsafe vehicles from the road,  fuel testing, drugs checks and vehicle examinations all being carried out.
Three drivers were arrested for drug driving offences, a fourth was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting after a warrant was previously issued for his arrest.

Among the other results of the operation:
14 vehicles were issued with immediate prohibitions by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency for no insurance or licence offences.
12 vehicles were imposed with delayed prohibitions – defects must be fixed as soon as possible.
28 advisory notes were issued.
Four vehicles were seized (under S165) as the drivers had no insurance or for licence offences.
A total of 55 traffic offence reports were produced relating to various offences. Among these included driving with no insurance (four), driving with no MOT (12), driving with no licence (one), driving a vehicle while illegally using a mobile phone (one) and wearing no seatbelt (11), defective tyres (four), vehicles in a dangerous condition (12) i.e. tinted windows/number of passengers carriages.
12 stop searches were carried out with 12 passive drugs dog indications, resulting in seven vehicles being searched and one driver being arrested (as above).

Suffolk Trading Standards spoke to nine traders who were given words of advice and Ipswich Borough Council’s Environmental Services spoke to nine people in relation to waste transfer breaches with all receiving advisory notices.

HMRC dipped tested 29 vehicle tanks with just one testing positive for red diesel and fined.

Sergeant Julian Ditcham of the roads policing team, who was overseeing the checks, said: "This day of action proved what we can achieve when we work with our partners.

"By sharing our combined knowledge, we were able to deny criminals the use of Suffolk’s roads, remove unsafe vehicles and raise awareness of road safety issues, while also keeping an eye out for motorists using mobile phones or not wearing a seatbelt. The fact that just 15 vehicles left the site clear out of the 71 that we checked is quite a surprising figure. It just shows how important it is that all motorists are aware of their responsibilities to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy, safe to drive and is legal. We will take action if your vehicle is found to be not suitable for use on the roads.”

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "I fully support these highly visible proactive days of enforcement, they send out a very clear message that if you are prepared to put yourself, and others, at risk by taking to the road unfit to drive or in a unsafe vehicle you stand a very good chance of being caught.

"I really can’t believe that drivers have not got the message, driving under the influence of drugs – and drink - is illegal for a reason, it is one of the four most likely causes of death on our roads, along with using mobile phones, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.  I am disappointed that so many drivers choose to flout these laws but pleased to see that the Constabulary is committed to catching those grossly irresponsible and selfish individuals that do.

He added: "I’d like publicly thank all the police officers and partner agencies involved in this campaign for their continued support. The results clearly show we are stronger working in partnership. It is only by working together that we will make our county’s roads safer for everyone so I’d like to.”

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Police Connect Team
18 Dec 18