Operation Truck and Bus – One arrest made and over 40 vehicles checked

One person was arrested and over 40 vehicles were inspected during a multi-agency operation, targeting light goods vehicles (LGVs) and passenger carrying vehicles (PCVs), occurring on the outskirts of Ipswich this week. Operation Truck and Bus took place on Monday 14 October, 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.

This ran in conjunction with both a TISPOL Europe-wide Truck and Bus Operation and also a National Police Chiefs' Council Carriage of Dangerous Goods campaign. Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT) and Road Casualty Reduction Team (RCRT) officers deployed to strategic locations on the A14, A12 and surrounding roads with the intention of identifying and stopping vehicles suspected of any offences. Vehicles were then escorted back to the check site at the Tesco Truck Stop at Copdock, where officers from the RAPT and the Police Dog Unit, along with partners from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and Highways England Drive for Better Business (DFBB), who all conducted further checks.

42 vehicles in total were brought to the check site, with just eight leaving clear of any offences. The results of the inspections are as follows:

  • A 40-year-old man from Ipswich was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving and taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning. He was released under investigation pending further enquires
  • 19 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) were issued: seven for no seatbelt; six for glass not as prescribed, three for illegal number plates, one for a vehicle in a dangerous condition, and one for an overweight vehicle (resulting in a GBP100 fine)
  • Five carriage of dangerous goods offences and five tachograph offences were also recorded
  • In addition to the positive drug wipe, one other person was tested for drugs providing a negative sample; and two people were breathalysed, also providing negative tests
  • DVSA issued 42 advisory notices for minor defects; four immediate prohibitions for mechanical defects; and five delayed prohibitions
  • HMRC challenged 26 vehicles checking for illegal fuel and no offences were found; DFBB had 13 interactions; and The GLAA interviewed one worker

Sergeant Julian Ditcham, from the joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: "This was a positive day of action and a great example of multi-agency working, the primary aim of which is to continue to make our roads safe for all users - including the drivers we stopped on the day.

"In respect of this particular operation our focus was on LGVs and PCVs and therefore a large number of people who drive for a living. As such, it was very disappointing that 34 of the 42 vehicles brought back to the check site recorded offences, and that one person was arrested for drug-driving. I think this displays the value of these types of operation as far too many people are prepared to 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."

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