One person was arrested and over 80 vehicles were checked during a multi-agency day of action in Ipswich this week.
The operation took place on Monday 21 June, with the aim of disrupting and frustrating the activities of criminals, including organised crime groups, who commit offences across county borders whilst using the road network.
Vehicles identified as being potentially involved in criminality were brought back to a check site in Hadleigh Road, where police and partner agencies conducted checks of the vehicles and occupants.
The operation was carried-out by officers from the Roads and Armed Policing Team, Road Casualty Reduction Team and Sentinel Team. The Safety Camera Team were also deployed to various locations nearby to detect any speeding offences.
Partner agencies present were: Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA); Driver & Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA); National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS); HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC); Suffolk Trading Standards; Marston’s civil debt recovery; Ipswich Borough Council Waste Management; and Taxi Licensing.
85 vehicles were escorted back to the site, with just eight leaving clear of any offences.
A 33-year-old man from Ipswich was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving and taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning. He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
71 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) were issued as follows: 15 for no seatbelt; 13 for tinted windows; six for number plate offences; five for insecure loads; five for illegal exhausts; four for overweight vehicles; four for illegal tyres; three for no insurance; three for careless driving; three for no mirrors; two for lights; two for no MOT; and one each for using a mobile phone; no driving licence; dangerous condition; an incorrectly registered vehicle; defective brakes; and contravening a no entry sign.
Five vehicles were seized, £1,000 in overweight vehicle fines were issued and two Vehicle Defect Rectification Notices were issued.
17 people were breathalysed – all of which were negative and two people were tested for drugs, one of which was positive (as per arrest details above).
The Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership deployed to nine sites around the town and detected 42 speeding offences.
The DVSA issued five immediate prohibitions – taking those vehicles off the road straight away – one delayed prohibition and seven advisory notices. The DVLA detected 17 offences, clamping 11 vehicles for no tax, and recovered a total of £3,320 in fines.
HMRC challenged 14 vehicles checking for illegal fuel with no offences found; and NaVCIS checked all vehicles, plant and trailers for identity and intelligence.
Marston’s civil debt recovery collected £2,173 in fines; Suffolk Trading Standards provided guidance or gathered intelligence in respect of six people; and Taxi Licensing reported one vehicle for tinted windows.
Sergeant Julian Ditcham, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “This was another very worthwhile day of action, demonstrated by the sheer number of Traffic Offence Reports issued.
“The fact that 77 of the 85 vehicles we stopped recorded an offence of some description underlines the targeted way in which we identify who to bring back to the check site, but also illustrates that far too many people are prepared to break the law or drive unroadworthy vehicles.
“We will continue to hold these operations on a regular basis, to target criminals who either reside in the county, or are travelling through, and also to remove unsafe vehicles and people driving illegally, making Suffolk a safer place to live for everyone.”
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: “It’s great to see another valuable day of action delivering such impressive results. Well done to everyone involved, this multi-agency approach really does pay dividends.
“I find it absolutely shocking that so many of the vehicles stopped by the police have defects or the drivers have committed traffic offences. Whilst it is very disappointing that so many drivers take to road without due regard to their safety and the safety of other road-users, it’s a real credit to the police officers involved to be able identify offenders so successfully.
“I absolutely support this dynamic, targeted approach to roads policing. Keeping unsafe vehicles and dangerous drivers off our roads is key to making Suffolk’s roads safer for us all. Keep up the good work.”