Multi-Agency Operation Proves a Success

Friday, 19 March, 2010

Thirty-seven vehicles were stopped and checked during a multi-agency
operation held in Haverhill on Thursday 18th March using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology.

Operation Steel Ring, targeting criminals travelling into and out of the town and denying them use of the roads, ran between 4pm and 11pm and involved officers from Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire Police.

Forty-one officers supported representatives from partner agencies
including the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), the UK Border
Agency and HM Revenue and Customs.

ANPR technology was used by police officers to stop suspicious vehicles
on the A143, A1017 and A1307 and by mobile patrols around the town, and
escort them to a specially cordoned off central site, located at The Meadows car park on Lordscroft Lane. Police officers and partner agencies then carried out thorough checks on both the vehicles and their occupants. The British Red Cross also assisted on site.

Four vehicles taken to the site were seized for no insurance. Police
officers issued 33 Fixed Penalty Notices for offences including no insurance, driving with illegal tyres, faulty lights and illegal number plates. Twenty-nine vehicle faults were identified.

Two arrests were made - an 18 year old man from Haverhill was given a caution for possession of ketamine and a 23 year old man from Peterborough was detained under the Immigration Act and has been passed to immigration officers.

PC Graham Clark of Suffolk Police who ran the operation said, "By working together with Cambridgeshire and Essex Police we were able to put patrols on every major route into and out of Haverhill. The ANPR
system allowed us to identify, stop and process a number of vehicles for
a wide range of offences along with our partners at the checking site.

"Criminals who use the roads are often committing a number of crimes, including using untaxed, uninsured and unroadworthy vehicles. If we can take away their access to these vehicles we can limit their opportunity to commit further crime, whilst also making Haverhill's roads safer for all road users.

"Four cars were seized because they were uninsured. Being hit by an uninsured driver causes a lot of stress, inconvenience, and expense. Statistics have also proven that uninsured drivers are much more likely to be involved in a collision, and so by removing uninsured vehicles from the road we are taking further steps to reduce casualties."

Sergeant Rebecca Williams of Cambridgeshire Police added, "This
operation was a great opportunity to do some cross-border work. We know criminals move between our counties so it makes sense that we work together to tackle crime."

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