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Police stop 104 vehicles during Operation Alliance day of action aimed at disrupting criminal activity in Ipswich



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More than 100 vehicles were stopped and one man was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving during a day of action aimed at disrupting criminal activity in Ipswich yesterday.

The day, which involved police, driving organisations and Trading Standards, targeted organised crime groups, who operate across county borders while using the road network.

Any vehicles which were identified as being potentially involved in crime were brought to a check site at the Tesco truck stop near to the A12/A14 Copdock Mill Interchange, where police and partner agencies conducted checks of the vehicles and their occupants.

The check site for Operation Alliance in Ipswich. Picture: Suffolk Police
The check site for Operation Alliance in Ipswich. Picture: Suffolk Police

Officers also focused on road safety and the fatal four offences of drink/drug driving, driving while using a mobile phone, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt, during the day of action which was under the Operation Alliance banner.

Anyone who police suspected might have committed any of these offences was also stopped, along with vehicles which were unroadworthy or had a defect.

A total of 104 vehicles were stopped during the day, 71 of which were escorted back to the check site, with 14 leaving the site clear of any offences. Another 33 were dealt with by officers offsite.

Officers said the day aimed to make Suffolk a safer place. Picture: Suffolk Police
Officers said the day aimed to make Suffolk a safer place. Picture: Suffolk Police

A total of 33 people were breathalysed – all of which were negative – and four people were tested for drugs.

A 29-year-old man from Ipswich was subsequently arrested on suspicion of drug-driving and taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre. He has been released under investigation, pending further enquiries.

A total of 60 Traffic Offence Reports were also issued, including for no insurance, no MOT, dangerous conditions of vehicles, careless driving and for having illegal brakes.

Nine vehicles were seized and seven notices were issued for vehicle defects.

More than 100 vehicles were stopped and one man was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving during a day of action aimed at disrupting criminal activity in Ipswich yesterday. Picture: Suffolk Police
More than 100 vehicles were stopped and one man was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving during a day of action aimed at disrupting criminal activity in Ipswich yesterday. Picture: Suffolk Police

During the day, Suffolk Police officers were assisted by Specialist Operations colleagues from across the Seven Force Collaboration Programme area, which includes Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Norfolk. This was part of a four-day operation, with a different force hosting each day.

Local resources included officers from the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, the Road Casualty Reduction Team, Commercial Vehicle Unit, Police Dog Unit and Safety Camera Team.

Partner agencies present included the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS); Home Office Immigration Enforcement, HM Revenue & Customs, Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), Environment Agency and Suffolk Trading Standards.

Inspector Gary Miller, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said it was 'another pleasing day' of action aimed at 'making Suffolk a safer place to live for everyone'.

He said: "Operation Alliance provides us with a fantastic opportunity to work with our colleagues from the Seven Forces Collaboration Programme and means that we can deploy even more officers to patrol the road network and identify as many offending vehicles as possible.

"Having all the partner agencies present enables us to investigate the full spectrum of potential offences, as everyone brings a different skill set or enforcement opportunity.

"The fact that 57 of the 71 vehicles brought back to the check site recorded an offence, displays the value of these operations. Too many people are still prepared to take unnecessary and often outright dangerous risks by using vehicles which are either unroadworthy or defective.

"It was pleasing that on the second day of the Christmas drink and drug driving campaign, all 33 breath tests carried out were negative. However, one person was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving, whilst driving a vehicle towing a trailer which was not properly attached and carrying an insecure load – that is a frightening combination.

"We will continue to hold these operations on a regular basis, to target criminals who either reside in the county, or are travelling through, and also to remove unsafe vehicles and people driving illegally, making Suffolk a safer place to live for everyone."

Among the day's other results were the Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership which detected a total of 46 speeding offences, the DVSA issued three immediate prohibitions and took those vehicles off the road straight away, and the DVLA clamped 10 vehicles for no tax, seized four vehicles, and recovered £2,680 in fines.

Meanwhile, the GLAA spoke with 20 workers and gathered intelligence reports, with Home Office Immigration officers interacting with six people.

NaVCIS checked the vehicles brought to the site, HMRC challenged 16 vehicles for illegal fuel, and Suffolk Trading Standards interacted with 15 people, with two requiring follow-ups.

Tim Passmore, police and crime commissioner for Suffolk, said: "Once again, some tremendous results from Operation Alliance, proving the worth of these multi-agency, proactive events.

"Keeping Suffolk’s roads safe and free flowing is particularly important for residents and our economy, and the Roads and Armed Policing Team has a pivotal role in helping to achieve this. I really would like to congratulate them and the other agencies who contributed to make this joint operation such a success.

"I fully support these multi-agency days of action, they send out a strong, clear message to those who choose not to comply with the law and keep vehicles properly maintained, that they will not be tolerated on Suffolk’s roads and have to face the consequences.”

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