One arrest made and over 40 vehicles stopped in multi-agency operation

46 vehicles were inspected, during an operation targeting light goods vehicles (LGVs) and passenger carrying vehicles (PCVs) in Suffolk. Operation Truck and Bus took place on Tuesday 23 July at the Tesco Truck Stop in Copdock with the aim to disrupt, deter and detect offences relating to all forms of vehicle-enabled criminality, with a primary focus on commercial vehicles, but also larger vehicles transporting shipping containers. It also aimed to improve compliance with road safety legislation – particularly amongst commercial vehicles – through observance of tachograph and driver hours regulations, and by removing unsafe vehicles from the road.

The operation was carried-out in support of both a Europe-wide TISPOL Truck and Bus campaign, and a National Police Chiefs’ Council Carriage of Dangerous Goods campaign. The Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT) officers were joined by partners from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the Environment Agency, Highways Agency Drive for better business and the Gangmaster Licencing agency.

46 vehicles in total were escorted back to the check site, with 14 leaving clear of any offences. One arrest was made of a motorist on suspicion of failing a drug drive test and 19 traffic offence reports were issued, including five for not wearing seatbelts, two for defective tyres, two for driving while using a mobile phone and three for number plate offences.

There was also one seizure of a vehicle under S165 for no insurance. Under legislation relating to the carriage of dangerous goods vehicles three advisory notices were issued and two immediate prohibitions imposed. The DVSA issued five immediate prohibitions for mechanical defects; 13 advisory notices for minor defects; and four delayed prohibitions for mechanical defects, while the Environment Agency conducted five searches with one driver interviewed for not having a waste carriers license, Highways gave advice and guidance to 20 drivers.

Sergeant Julian Ditcham, from the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “This was another really worthwhile day of action to ensure we keep our roads safer and a great example of multi-agency working. “It was very disappointing that of the 46 vehicles brought back to the check site, only 14 left the site clear. It displays the value of these types of operation as far too many people take unnecessary risks on our roads.

“We will continue to hold these days of action which, alongside the work we do every day, help to raise awareness of road safety in general and the ‘fatal four’ main causes of fatal or serious road traffic collisions which are: drink/drug driving; speeding; using a mobile phone; and not wearing a seatbelt.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “These multi agency days of action make a huge contribution to keeping Suffolk’s roads safe  and catching criminals. When you see the long list of  suspected crimes and traffic offences it , sadly, proves how essential  these initiatives are. I trust the results send a powerful message to all criminals that you are likely to be caught and prosecuted. Well done to all the agencies involved – these days of action are worth their weight in gold.”

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