PCC sees joint roads policing operation in action

Tim Passmore joined a roads policing operation in Copdock yesterday (Monday 1 June) where more than 100 vehicles were stopped in a joint operation which involved six police forces.
Operation Alliance involved almost 70 officers, including staff from partner agencies, who worked together with the aim of catching criminals using the roads while also targeting unsafe vehicles.
Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit were joined by roads policing colleagues from Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire for the day-long operation which coincided with the launch of the national summer drink drive campaign.
Police motorcyclists patrolled the A12 and A14 and surrounding roads using the Tesco lorry park at Copdock as a base.
Officers used ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) to identify vehicles of interest and also pulled over vehicles which showed signs they may be unsafe.
Fuel testing, drug checks and vehicle examinations were all carried out at the site with assistance from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (formerly VOSA), HM Revenue & Customs, Trading Standards, DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) and the UKBA (UK Border Agency).
In total 116 vehicles were stopped and checked at the site and 83 traffic offence reports were issued for various offences including mobile phone use, not wearing a seatbelt, no insurance, no licence, tyre defects, dangerous condition and tinted windows.
A 24-year-old man from Norwich was arrested for drug driving after providing a positive roadside test after originally being stopped for driving without insurance.
He was taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre and released on bail until 4 August.
Several modified cars were stopped and given prohibition notices for being too low and unsafe to drive while one car was found to have three defective tyres and faulty brake lights.

Other results included:
Four vehicles seized for no insurance
13 Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme (VDRS)
15 people stop searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act
11 drivers reported for summons for offences including vehicles being overweight, no insurance, Tachograph rest and chart offences and driving without a licence
37 Negative breath tests
Two Roadside Drug swipe tests (one positive leading to arrest)
One warning issued for cannabis possession
44 Immediate prohibitions
Eight Delayed Prohibitions
82 Advisory Notices
One HGV Prohibited for 45hrs
60 tanks dipped (no offences)
Two men arrested for immigration offences (overstaying in the UK)

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of Roads Policing, said it was one of the largest operations of this type involving forces in the eastern region for several years.
He said: “Although we regularly work with colleagues from other forces an operation on this scale has not been held for several years.
“The most important aspect is that as six forces we can bring together resources and skills to detect and disrupt criminal activity which forces alone would not be able to do in such numbers.
“Also, criminals using the roads do not respect boundaries so we are often suffering from the same crime patterns and criminality across all six counties.
“The fact that only 14 of the 116 vehicles checked were clear of offences to me demonstrates the need for such operations to make sure the roads are safe for law-abiding motorists.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, who attended yesterday’s event, said: “I was extremely impressed to see first-hand the scale of this operation which was based at the strategically important junction of the A14 and the A12 at Copdock.
“Roads policing is a key theme in my Police and Crime Plan and something I take a personal interest in. I have insisted that Suffolk continues to invest in roads policing and we are one of only a few constabularies that has not made reductions in this area.
“It was an excellent day’s work and a super example of agencies working together for the common good.”