Braintree: Vehicles stopped and checked during major police operation

NEARLY 300 vehicles were stopped and checked by police during a major operation in Braintree yesterday to increase road safety and reduce crime.

Operation Surround A Town involved more than 40 police officers and 18 trainee constables carrying out roadside checks and mobile patrols around the town.

The operation was also part of Essex County Council’s three-year No Excuse campaign to tackle motoring offences and raise awareness for offences such as speeding, driving while using a mobile phone, not wearing seat belts or driving without insurance or valid driving documents.

Offenders were identified by officers patrolling in cars or on motorcycles or through Automatic Number Plate (ANPR) technology and vehicles were escorted to check sites at Galleys Corner, Rayne Road and Coggeshall Road.

More than 10 uninsured vehicles were seized, 64 vehicles had no MOT, 29 drivers were fined for using mobile phones and seven people were found to be driving without valid licences.

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A total of 95 people were stopped for not wearing seat belts and of that number 55 people attended an education session with road safety officers instead of paying a �60 fixed penalty fine.

Twenty other motoring offences were dealt with including five offences of cars having illegally tinted windows. Drivers were warned of the dangers and were allowed to continue their journeys after removing the tint material.

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Officers also seized a van suspected of being fitted with a stolen engine and enquiries are continuing.

A van was also seized after it was found to be running illegally on red diesel.

Several drug searches were carried and one person was given a street warning after being found with cannabis.

A van was also prohibited from the roads for being overweight and another was prohibited for being in a dangerous condition.

Essex Police’s casualty reduction manager Adam Pipe said: “Members of the public were very supportive and many gave us the thumbs up as they drove past the stop sites.

“Pedestrians also stopped to thank officers for what they were doing. Many of the comments were about the vehicles that were seized for having no insurance and the fact that we were finding so many people driving while using mobile phones or using potentially dangerous cars without MOTs.”

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