Over 100 vehicles were stopped and checked during two days of operations targeting criminals using Suffolk’s road network.
The operations, conducted by Suffolk and Norfolk Roads Policing and Firearms Unit (RPFOU), were held on Thursday and Friday. Officers were supported by the Automatic Number Plate Recognition Intercept Team (ANPRIT) and colleagues from Essex Police after a similar operation was held in Essex on March 24.
The operations tie in a week-long national campaign aimed at catching travelling criminals who use the roads to avoid detection and move around the UK, which has seen officers countrywide stopping vehicles of interest and carrying out roadside checks to establish if the occupants are wanted by police in their home countries.
Using the Tesco Lorry Park as a base on Thursday and Eye Airfield on Friday, officers patrolled the main road networks and surrounding villages in the area with an aim of targeting vehicles that were known or suspected to be used by foreign national criminals.
Whenever possible vehicles that were stopped were then escorted to central site where partner agencies such as VOSA, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Hidden Economy Team and the Department for Work and Pension were able to do additional checks and examinations.
During the operations, 107 vehicles were stopped in total, with seven being seized. Suffolk Constabulary issued 51 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for offences including no insurance, no MOT, no seatbelt being worn and vehicles being overweight. Police also issued 22 immediate prohibition notices, 46 delayed prohibition notices and 139 advisory notices in relation to vehicle defects.
Vehicles were checked for red diesel with one fine of over £500 being issued and drug searches were carried out resulting in four cannabis warnings and a FPN being handed out. Additionally a stolen Wacker plate and a stolen mini digger and trailer were both identified and recovered by officers.
Inspector Darren Elliot from the RPFOU said: “The aim of this operation was to target criminals using the road network in Suffolk. Both the police officers and our partner agencies put in a lot of hard work and it was pleasing that we were able to see some positive results. Operations such as this put out a positive and firm message to road users in Suffolk and demonstrate our commitment to working with our partners to tackle crime on Suffolk’s roads.”