Four arrests made and 100 vehicles stopped during day of action

Op Alliance1

Four people were arrested, 100 vehicles were stopped and over 90 Traffic Offence Reports were issued, during a multi-agency day of action in and around Ipswich.

The operation took place yesterday, Wednesday 24 May, 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. 

This was intelligence-led and involved vehicles identified as being potentially involved in criminality being brought back 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 occupants. 

Officers are also focused on all-round road safety and the fatal four offences of drink/drug driving, driving whilst using a mobile phone, speeding, and not wearing a seatbelt. 

Anyone suspected of committing any of these offences was also stopped, along with people driving vehicles which were unroadworthy or had a defect. All of these actions serve towards making the county’s roads safer and reduce the likelihood of someone being killed or seriously injured by an illegally/unsafely driven or defective vehicle.

Under the banner of Operation Alliance, the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team were assisted by officers from the Road Casualty Reduction Team, Commercial Vehicle Unit, Police Dog Unit, Sentinel Team and Local Policing Team, along with police staff colleagues from the Modern Day Slavery Team, Trace & Detect drug officers and the Safety Camera Team. 

Partner agencies present included the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC); Home Office Immigration Enforcement; Environment Agency; Babergh District Council; Suffolk County Council Trading Standards, East Suffolk Council Taxi Licensing, Datatag and CDER Group Debt Recovery.

Four people were arrested as follows: two for immigration offences; one on suspicion of drug driving (cocaine) and possession of Class A drugs; and another on suspicion of drug driving (cannabis).  

100 vehicles were escorted back to the check site, with just eight leaving clear of any offences. 

92 Traffic Offence Reports were issued, including: 19 for number plate offences; 15 for having an insecure load; 13 for not wearing a seatbelt; eight for no MOT; seven for overweight vehicle; six for no insurance; six for tinted windows; five for contravening a red light; two for careless/inconsiderate driving; two for exhaust offences; and two for lighting offences. 

Five vehicles were seized and fines totalling £2,700 were issued for overweight vehicles.

Eight people were breathalysed for drink-driving – all of which were negative - and 12 people were tested for drug-driving, two of which were positive (as per arrest details above). The Safety Camera Team deployed to roads in the surrounding area, detecting a total of 65 speeding offences. 

The DVSA issued eight immediate prohibitions - taking those vehicles off the road straight away – four delayed prohibitions and six advisory notices; and HMRC challenged 52 vehicles checking for illegal fuel and no offences were found.  

Immigration Enforcement made two arrests; the Environment Agency checked 23 vehicles; Trading Standards undertook 22 interactions; and CDER Group collected 100 outstanding fines, totalling £22,000.   

Sergeant George Laflin, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “This was another successful day of action highlighting once again the sheer number of vehicles on the roads that are not conforming to the law, or people committing driving offences.

“It should be obvious to everyone that people drug-driving are putting the lives of others at risk, as are people committing other driving offences. However, equally as dangerous are vehicles that are overweight or have insecure loads, or any number of the other offences, faults or defects we detected.  

“The fact that over 90% of the vehicles stopped recorded an offence of some description demonstrates the targeted way in which we identify vehicles to be escorted back to the check site. 

“We are grateful to our colleagues from across our own organisation, along with all those from our partner agencies for helping to make Operation Alliance such a success.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I’m delighted to see another set of impressive results following a successful day of action at the strategically important junction of the A14 and the A12 at Copdock. 

“I have attended these operations in the past and have been impressed to see at first-hand how these various agencies work together, it really is quite remarkable.

“Keeping Suffolk’s roads safe and free flowing is important for both residents and businesses and our roads policing unit 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 operation such a tremendous success.  The results really do speak for themselves.

“I fully support these multi-agency operations, they send out a strong, clear message to those who choose not to comply with the law and keep vehicles properly maintained that Suffolk Constabulary is on the case.”