Police day of action targeting vehicles leads to six arrests

Operation Quartzrite in Newmarket lead to six arrests Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Operation Quartzrite in Newmarket lead to six arrests Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

Six men were arrested following a police operation in Newmarket yesterday which targeted illegal motorists on the county’s roads.

Operation Quartzrite in Newmarket lead to six arrests Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Operation Quartzrite in Newmarket lead to six arrests Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

The multi-agency day of action saw vehicles which were suspected of criminality brought back to a site at The Meadows car park off the A142, where checks were conducted.

Police said the aim of the operation was to disrupt and frustrate the activities of criminals, including organised crime groups, who commit offences across county borders on the roads.

A total of 83 vehicles were escorted back to the site, with just eight leaving clear of any offences.

Six men were arrested and taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning. Their details are as follows:

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• James McKeever, aged 38, of Gordon Richards Close, Newmarket. He was subsequently charged with drink-driving and driving without insurance. He was bailed to appear at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Monday, March 4.

• A 21-year-old man from Grays in Essex, on suspicion of drug-driving (cannabis) and possession of cannabis with intent to supply

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• A 36-year-old man from Newmarket on suspicion of drug driving (cocaine)

• A 20-year-old man from Bury St Edmunds, arrested on suspicion of drug-driving (cannabis)

• A 30-year-old man from Rochester in Kent, arrested on suspicion of drug-driving (cannabis)

• A 30-year-old man from the Ely area, arrested on suspicion of drug-driving (cannabis)

The five suspected drug-drivers were all released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Two people were reported for a summons to court, one for possession of cannabis and one for driving whilst disqualified.

The operation was carried out by from the scorpion teams, roads and armed policing team, road casualty reduction team, police dog unit and safety camera partnership.

Partner agencies included the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).

Sergeant Julian Ditcham, of the roads and armed policing team, said: “This was another excellent day of action and the fact that offences were found in connection with 75 of the 83 vehicles brought back to the check site, displays how important it is that we carry-out these operations.

“It is staggering how many people continue to either get behind the wheel of a vehicle and commit offences whilst driving, or continue to drive vehicles with defects. They are a significant danger to other road users and are gambling with peoples’ lives.

“We will continue to hold these operations on a regular basis, both to target any criminals who may be travelling through Suffolk, but also to remove unsafe vehicles and people driving illegally, making our roads and county as a whole safer for everyone.”

A total of 59 traffic offence reports were also issued as follows: 13 for no insurance, 14 for no MOT, seven for not wearing a seatbelt, six for driving while using a mobile phone, five for incorrectly registered vehicles, five for number plate offences, four for defective tyres, two for dangerous condition, and one each for excess speed, driving without a licence, and defective lights.

Three graduated fixed penalty notices were issued for no insurance, no MOT and an incorrectly registered vehicle, resulting in roadside fines of £700.

A further 10 vehicles were seized as a result of having no insurance and three vehicle defect rectifications were issued.

Drugs dogs searched 73 vehicles resulted in 16 positive indications, leading in turn to the five drug-driving arrests.

The DVSA issued eight immediate prohibitions, taking those vehicles off the road straight away; eight delayed prohibitions; and 34 advisory notices.

The DVLA clamped 12 vehicles for not having tax and issued £3,120 in fines. They also recovered £300 in warning stickers, with total fines of £3,420.

The safety camera team detected 101 speeding offences, 90 of which were on the A14 at locations in Newmarket in Exning, with the remainder caught on Cotton End Lane and Burwell Road in Exning, and Bury Road and Barbara Stradbroke Avenue in Newmarket.

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