Over 70 vehicles checked and three arrests made during multi-agency day of action

Three people were arrested, over 70 vehicles were checked and two stolen caravans recovered, during a multi-agency day of action in Bury St Edmunds last week.

The operation took place on Friday 29 September, 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.

This was intelligence-led and involved vehicles identified as being potentially involved in criminality being brought back to a check site at Rougham lorry park, where police and partner agencies conducted checks of the vehicles and occupants.

Officers are also focused on all-round road safety and the fatal four offences of drink/drug driving, driving whilst using a mobile phone, speeding, and not wearing a seatbelt.

The operation was carried-out by officers from the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, Road Casualty Reduction Team, Commercial Vehicle Unit, Sentinel Team, Local Policing Team, Kestrel Team and Rural Crime Team, along with police staff colleagues from the Modern Day Slavery Team and the Safety Camera Team.

Partner agencies present included HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC); Home Office Immigration Enforcement; Environment Agency; Suffolk County Council Trading Standards, West Suffolk Council Taxi Licensing, The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS), Datatag, Tilly Pass and CDER Group Debt Recovery.

73 vehicles were escorted back to the site, with just 12 leaving clear of any offences. Three people were arrested: two on suspicion of drug-driving; and one on suspicion of immigration offences.

53 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) were issued including: 12 for insecure loads; 11 for no seatbelt; nine for dangerous condition; eight for registration plate offences; and seven for using a mobile phone.

21 people were breathalysed – all of which were negative – and eight people were tested for drugs, two of which were positive (as per arrest details above).

The Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership detected 123 speeding offences at sites in the surrounding area.

With the assistance of NaVCIS & Datatag, two stolen caravans were identified and recovered, one stolen from Essex and the other from Bristol.

Home Office Immigration Officers conducted 17 checks, resulting in one arrest (as detailed above). HMRC challenged 28 vehicles checking for illegal fuel and one offence was detected. CDER Group recovered a total of £6,500 in fines.

Sergeant George Laflin, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “The need for us to continue to hold these days of action is proven by the number of offences we have once again detected.

“Our primary focus in the Roads and Armed Policing Team is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads, and every offending driver or unroadworthy vehicle we deal with is a step towards achieving that aim.

“These operations also help us to target organised criminals who either reside in the county, or are travelling through, making Suffolk a safer place to live for everyone.”

Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: “It’s great to see another effective Day of Action being carried out in the county, these operations really do live up to their name. Disrupting criminality and keeping our roads safe for all roads users is absolutely essential and the results speak for themselves.

“This is a fantastic example of agencies working together for the good of us all and I fully support this approach, well done to everyone involved.”