Multi-agency days of action focuses on rural crime
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Officers from Northamptonshire Police joined forces with partner agencies at the start of last month (August) to target those who use the county’s road network to commit crime.
Led by the Rural Crime Team, two days of action were held on August 10 and 11, in partnership with North and West Northamptonshire Councils, Trading Standards and the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency Enforcement.
Officers from the Force’s Safer Roads and Neighbourhood Policing Teams also joined the operation, which was held on the A6 at Burton Latimer, Thrapston Services at Junction 13 of the A14, A43 at Towcester and the A45, near Junction 16 of the M1.
More than 100 vehicles were stopped over the two days, and checks were carried out around vehicle safety including load security, vehicle weight, driver hours and vehicle excise duty and insurance.
Of those checked in the north of the county at Burton Latimer and Thrapston, one vehicle was seized for having no tax and one driver received a court summons for having two defective tyres and an insecure load.
A further three drivers were reported for not wearing a seat belt, a defective tyre and no VRM displayed respectively, whilst others were issued words of advice for minor defects.
In addition, eight immediate prohibition notices were issued for vehicles with more serious defects, which included bald tyres, insecure loads, number plate offences, no indicator and brake lights, loose wheel nuts and inoperative power steering.
Three tachograph prohibition notices were also issued which resulted in one driver receiving a court summons for not using a tacho and another forced to remain at the check point after driving over his hours.
Seven drivers were reported for traffic offences on the second day held in the west of the county. These were for insecure loads, excess speed, defective tyres, driving with no insurance and a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
In addition to this, 14 defect prohibition notices were issued for various offences including dangerous loads, mechanical defects and defective lighting and tyres as well as two tachograph irregularities.
PC Dom Preece of the Rural Crime Team said: “This operation was a huge success and a great example of partnership working at its best.
“We are all committed to improving road safety across the county and by working together we can ensure those using our roads are doing so legally and responsibly.
“From a rural crime point of view, much of our work is investigating and preventing thefts from farms and rural businesses, in which agricultural equipment is often stolen.
“This includes equipment which has to be moved around by road that is often sold to unsuspecting members of the public, and operations such as this are the perfect opportunity to check the legitimacy of such vehicles using our roads.”
Cllr David Brackenbury, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Growth and Regeneration, said: “Rogue traders have a negative impact in our local communities and can have such a detrimental effect on people’s lives.
“So, it is great that we can work with partner organisations to combat these traders, as well as others committing crimes, and protect residents across Northamptonshire.
“If you are unsure whether to use a trader or not, I would encourage you to do your research and use the Buy With Confidence scheme.”
Cllr Phil Larratt, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste, added: “We want all residents to live safely, healthily, happily, and independently – and this includes on our county’s roads.
“Partnership operations such as this are crucial in helping to curb crime and ultimately lower the number of accidents and traffic offences that take place across our highways.
“We hope that these days of action provide reassurance to our rural communities and send a clear message that criminal activity will not be tolerated. By working together, we can make our roads a safer place for everyone.”