More than 90 police officers, staff, volunteers and representatives from partner agencies were out in force on Saturday as part of the largest Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operation the county has ever seen.
Following alerts from the ANPR system nearly 160 vehicles were pulled over and checked either at the roadside or at sites specifically set up across the county under Operation X, launched last Monday with the aim of catching criminals and protecting communities in areas where most harm occurs.
Across the three Priority Policing Areas in Rugby, Nuneaton and Leamington five arrests were made for theft, possession of a Class B drug, failing to stop and resisting arrest, obstructing police and drink driving as a result of using ANPR to identify vehicles that may have been operating illegally.
A total of 20 vehicles were seized and 24 taken off the road for not having insurance or road tax and/or not being roadworthy. In total 55 traffic offences were recorded throughout the day ranging from cracked windscreens, to tyres dangerously below the legal limit.
Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and HMRC Customs were on hand at each site to check vehicles and in Nuneaton fines totalling over £1000 were issued to two drivers - one was for using red diesel and the other for using kerosene.
Inspector Dean Reid who heads up the Operations Support Unit at Warwickshire Police praised the work of the Special Constabulary who also supported the operation.
He said: “For this particular operation we had 41 Specials on duty along side members of the Priority Policing Area teams and the Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
“Warwickshire Police values the work that they do and they were a welcome addition to the teams on this particularly busy day.”
At the Rugby site a lock knife was found in one of the vehicles and some cannabis was also seized from a vehicle. In Leamington an arrest was made within the first half hour for a drink driving offence.
Patrols using drugs dogs were also carried out in Rugby, Leamington and Nuneaton raising awareness of the work they can do to hunt out illegal substances.
“Operation X is all about going the extra mile to protect communities where crime occurs the most, “ said Warwickshire’s Deputy Chief Constable Neil Brunton who is leading the force operation.
“Saturday’s ANPR operation was focusing on depriving criminals the use of the road by using intelligence led technology available to us. as well as ensuring vehicles are kept to a legal standard.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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