Suffolk: Crack down on driving offences

SUFFOLK: Drivers were under the spotlight today in a joint policing operation using officers from five other counties to crack down on motoring offences.

Suffolk Police were joined by officers from Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire in a crack down on criminals using the roads.

The one-day effort, Operation Utah, also included HM Revenue and Customs officers, trading standards officials and the UK Borders Agency to spot other potential infringements in the cars that were stopped, such as using red diesel, committing drugs offences or carrying stolen goods.

Sergeant Simon Hobson, who runs the ANPR team in Suffolk, was running the operation from the London Road park and ride site in Copdock.

“We want to take positive action against people who are committing criminal offences in Suffolk,” said Sgt Hobson.

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“There’s no substitute for old-fashioned policing but ANPR, if used effectively, can assist police officers in their day-to-day business.

“We can stop vehicles that are picked up on ANPR and also where persons are committing offences under the Road Traffic Act like not wearing seatbelts or using mobile phones at the wheel.

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“It helps us prevent and detect crime. It’s a bit of a cliche but it’s important for us to try and disrupt criminal activity by having a police presence.”

Officers intercepted a van during the operation and found what is believed to be stolen property on board, as well as discovering that the car’s brakes were not in a roadworthy state.

Around 40 officers from the neighbouring forces were out in Ipswich yesterday, with the same number again patrolling the Stowmarket, Mildenhall and Lowestoft areas.

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