String of arrests made during A12 police crackdown

Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore and Sgt Julian Ditcham (centre), with Roads and Armed Policing (RAPT) offic

Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore and Sgt Julian Ditcham (centre), with Roads and Armed Policing (RAPT) officers and dog unit officers. The force and partners in local government and the private sector supported their work for Operation Showdown Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Two men with a van full of valuable car parts and cutting tools were among those arrested as Suffolk police officers hunted for dangerous drivers in rural parts of the county.

Operating from a check site in Stratford St Andrew, officers patrolled the A12 with the DVLA, DVSA private debt collectors and HMRC last week. Police were also deployed in Leiston and Saxmundham.

Their work led to the arrest of a 63-year-old man and a 32-year-old man, both from Ipswich, on suspicion of possession of criminal property after a Ford Transit van was stopped and a number of catalytic converters, vehicle batteries and cutting tools were allegedly found inside.

Three other Suffolk men were arrested on suspicion of drug-driving during the crackdown. All were questioned and were released under investigation.

Sergeant Julian Ditcham, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: "This was the first time we have conducted one of these operations in this part of Suffolk, and it proved to be just as productive as the ones we have held in and around the larger towns in the county.

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"Although many offending motorists are detected through intelligence gathering, you would be surprised how many more serious offences we detect by initially stopping a vehicle for a more minor offence."

A total of 73 vehicles were stopped - with only nine leaving the site without any offences noted.

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The force were kept busy issuing 48 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) on the day for a variety of dangers; drivers not wearing seatbelts, missing MOTs and insurance, speeding, defective lights, tyres and mirrors and using a mobile phone.

The operation was carried out by officers from the Roads and Armed Policing Team, Road Casualty Reduction Team, Police Dog Unit, Scorpion Teams, Rural Crime Team and Safety Camera Partnership.

While the p;olice dealt with those breaking the law, the DVLA clamped 10 vehicles for not having tax and recovered £2,600 in fines while civil debt collectors, Marstons ,recovered outstanding fines of approximately £4,000.

Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: "I'm a huge fan of these multi-agency operations to catch criminals and keep Suffolk's roads safe.

"I'd like to congratulate everyone involved in this operation and once again there's a very clear message for the criminal fraternity that in Suffolk we're after you, you'll get caught and if found guilty I hope you'll be punished severely."

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