Lowestoft – Nine people arrested and over 80 vehicles checked during multi-agency day of action
Nine people were arrested and over 80 vehicles were checked during a multi-agency day of action in Lowestoft.
Operation Showdown took place on Monday 25 March, with the aim of disrupting and frustrating the activities of criminals, including organised crime groups, who commit offences across county borders whilst using the road network.
Vehicles identified as being potentially involved in criminality were brought back to a check site at a car park in Belvedere Road, where police and partner agencies conducted checks of the vehicles and occupants.
The operation was carried-out by officers from the Scorpion Team, Roads and Armed Policing Team, Road Casualty Reduction Team, Police Dog Unit and Commercial Vehicle Unit.
Partner agencies present included the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Driver & Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and Waveney Norse.
86 vehicles were escorted back to the site, with just 12 leaving clear of any offences.
Nine men were arrested, eight on suspicion of drug-driving (seven for cannabis and one for cocaine), and one who was wanted on a warrant for breach of a community order.
They were all taken to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre for questioning.
A 54-year-old man from Lowestoft was subsequently charged with failing to provide a specimen of blood for analysis and has been bailed to appear at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 10 April.
The seven other suspected drug-drivers were released under investigation pending further enquiries and the person arrested on the warrant was detained for court.
65 Traffic Offence Reports were issued as follows: 17 for not wearing a seatbelt; nine for no MOT; seven for number plate offences; five for no insurance; four for using a mobile phone; four for defective exhausts; three for tinted windows; two for defective mirrors; and one each for: defective tyres; defective lights; incorrectly registered vehicle; driver hours; no protective headgear; defective brakes; no secondary coupling; contravening a red light; and not being in proper control of the vehicle.
Four vehicles were seized for no insurance/driving licence offences, five vehicle defect rectification notices and three immediate police prohibitions were issued.
16 people provided negative breath tests and seven people provided negative drug tests.
Drugs dogs searched 82 vehicles resulted in 25 positive indications, leading in turn to seven of the drug-driving arrests.
The DVSA issued nine immediate prohibitions, taking those vehicles off the road straight away; five delayed prohibitions; and 32 advisory notices.
The DVLA clamped 16 vehicles for not having tax and issued £4,160 in fines. They also recovered £700 from seven warning stickers and £260 for one seizure, totalling of £5,120 in monies recovered.
Waveney Norse spoke with nine traders, advice given to one trader.
In addition the Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership recorded 54 speed offences in the following locations;
A1117 Elm Tree Road (30MPH) - 28 offences detected
C916 Long Road (30MPH) - 10 offences detected
A12 Tom Crisp Way (40MPH) - 9 offences detected
A1117 Millenium Way (40MPH) - 7 offences detected
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 74 of the 86 vehicles brought back to the check site, displays how important it is that we carry-out these operations.
“We are seeing a similar numbers of offences recorded every time we hold these days of action and it is staggering how many people continue to either get behind the wheel of a vehicle and break the law 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 hold these operations across the county on a regular basis and will continue to do so, 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.”
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said, “These very visible, proactive days of action are an excellent example of partners working together to keep us all safe.
“It never fails to amaze me how many drivers are on our roads in an unfit state or driving a vehicle unfit for the road. I fully support these multi-agency days and I know I speak on behalf of my RoadSafe partners when I applaud the work of everyone involved.
“I’m pleased to see that these events will continue across the county on a regular basis. Keeping our road network safe and free-flowing is so important.”