Arrests in “Operation Surround a Town” in Harlow

Communities / Thu 10th Oct 2013 at 09:04am

THREE people were arrested when police stopped and checked 206 vehicles during an operation in Harlow to improve road safety and crack down on crime.

Operation Surround A Town on Wednesday October 9 involved officers carrying out roadside checks and mobile patrols around the town.

The operation was also part of Essex County Council’s three-year No Excuse campaign to tackle motoring offences and raise awareness that there is no excuse for offences such as speeding, driving while using a mobile phone, not wearing seat belts or driving without insurance or valid driving documents.

Offenders were identified by officers patrolling in cars or on motorcycles or through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology and vehicles were escorted to check sites at the Junction 7 roundabout above the M11 at Hastingwood, and at Southern Way.

Those arrested were: a man who was wanted on suspicion of importing drugs; a man stopped for not wearing a seatbelt who was found to be wanted for failing to attend court and for non-payment of a £1,500 fine and a man who was wanted on suspicion of assault.

Four vehicles were seized for having no insurance, two drivers were found to have invalid driving licences and 10 vehicles had invalid MOTs.

Thirty-one people who were using mobile phones, 65 people who were not wearing seat belts and two people stopped for speeding were all referred to national driver retraining courses.

Twenty-five other offences were dealt with including overweight commercial vehicles and driver hours offences.

Amongst the overweight vehicles were a van full of beer which was 69 per cent overweight and another van which was 51 per cent overweight. Between them, the two drivers received a total of £1,400 in immediate roadside fines which had to be paid before their vehicles could be moved, which in itself could only happen after the excess loads were removed and the vehicles re-weighed.

A scaffolding truck ,which was stopped after the driver was seen using a mobile phone, was immediately prohibited from the roads due to tyre defects, as well as having an insecure load, no MOT and being 20 per cent overweight.

Essex County Council road safety officers were at both stop sites during the day to give advice to drivers who had been stopped for various offences. Officers from HMRC and VOSA were also involved in checking drivers and their vehicles.

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