An operation to target criminals using Suffolk’s roads has seen more 50 vehicles stopped in Felixstowe.
The operation at the Garrison Lane Car Park in the town was conducted by officers from the Scorpion Teams, Roads and Armed Policing Team, Road Casualty Reduction Team, Dog Unit, Neighbourhood Response Teams and Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub.
Partner agencies present will include Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Trading Standards, Gang master licensing authority and the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service.
10 arrests were made after a total of 51 vehicles were escorted to the site for checks during the day. 12 vehicles left the site clear.
The aim of the operation was to disrupt criminal activity, to catch those committing driving offences and to remove unsafe vehicles from the road, with drugs checks and vehicle examinations all being carried out.
10 drivers were arrested for a variety of offences including eight offences of suspected drug driving, and two offences for failure to appear warrant.
Among the other results of the operation:
Nine vehicles were issued with immediate prohibitions by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency for no insurance or licence offences.
Five vehicles were imposed with delayed prohibitions – defects must be fixed as soon as possible.
34 advisory notes were issued.
Two vehicles were seized (under S165) as the drivers had no insurance or for licence offences.
A total of 27 traffic offence reports were produced relating to various offences. Among these included driving with no insurance (one), driving with no MOT (two), driving a vehicle while illegally using a mobile phone (five), driving with defective tyres (four) and wearing no seatbelt (ten).
HMRC challenged ten vehicles, checking for red diesel, kerosene and laundered fuel, no offences were found.
Environmental services conducted nine checks with people regarding waste carrier licencing with five compliant and four waste carrier offences detected with follow up enquiries to be made.
Sergeant Julian Ditcham of the roads policing team, who was overseeing the checks, said: “This was another great example of partnership working to tackle criminality on our roads. It is really important that we continue to raise awareness of the dangers of committing offences on our roads – where all road users can be put at risk. We will continue to carry out these checks, with partner agencies, to target criminals with the aim of making the roads safer for all motorists.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “I am a great fan of these highly visible proactive days of enforcement, as 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 an unsafe vehicle you stand a very good chance of being caught.
“Since becoming PCC I have been aware of many similar operations and yet I am still stunned by how many drivers are arrested for suspected drug related issues – I find it staggering. Through the RoadSafe partnership we have allocated £120K to fund drug wipes to support the Constabulary’s fight against drug drivers. I am pleased to see this investment is paying off.”
He added: “It is only by working together that we will make our county’s roads safer for everyone so I’d like to publicly thank all the police officers and partner agencies involved in this campaign for their continued support.”