Wiltshire Police have issued £23,000 of traffic fines to drivers on the M4 this week, following a successful operation tackling heavy goods and commercial vehicle offences committed on the M4.
Operation Trivium 3 has been taking place nationally all week across the UK. The operation uses the roads to focus on identifying and dismantling criminal groups responsible for crimes such as illegal immigration and human trafficking, firearms offences, fraud, metal theft, drug related crimes and other offences.
Many of these organised crime groups come from European Member States and police want to make sure these criminals are caught and therefore the UK’s roads will be safer and more secure.
Officers from the Tri-Force Roads Policing Unit at Wiltshire Police, along with staff from the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) have been stationed at junction 15 of the M4 at Swindon since Monday 20 October and have had significant success.
They have been targeting mainly heavy and commercial goods vehicles from all over the E.U. looking at the roadworthiness of the vehicle but also the condition of the driver.
Officers have been liaising with a National Operations Co-ordination Centre (NOCC), based in Birmingham. Police from Poland, Romania and Lithuania are on stand-by to also check police systems in the relevant country for wanted persons or other offences, or even to interpret for UK police. Also within the NOCC are EURPOL, INTERPOL, NCA, and Immigration Services advising roads police all over the UK.
167 of the 294 vehicles stopped were found to be running illegally and 34 vehicles were prevented from continuing their journey until either loads were removed or defects were repaired.
As a result of the operation:
• Officers have detected 202 Serious Road Traffic Offences (mainly driving over hours and heavy loads)
• They have issued over fines to the value of over 23K
• Arrested one drink driver
• Prohibited 34 vehicles
• 83 were found to have at least one defect - thus committing an offence
• 97 tachograph offences were identified (this is the machine which measures speed and distance showing how long a driver has been on the road without a break)
• 32 vehicles were given prohibition notices for being overweight with a total of 192 overweight offences being identified
• 19 immediate mechanical prohibition notices were given (these were for defects to tyres, brakes, suspension and steering)
• A total of £23,000 worth of fines were issued.
Inspector Steve Cox, Head of Tri-Force Roads Policing Operations said:
“With the partners and the assistance of the NOCC we have been very successful during this operation detecting 202 serious road traffic offences.
“During the operation, we look at the physical aspect of the vehicles – checking tyres, the weight of the loads and making sure they were mechanically sound, but we also looked at the driver and how many breaks they had taken, how many hours they had been on the road etc.
“The work we have done this week has made a significant dent in the profit of businesses whose vehicles do not meet the standards of the law and by doing so are endangering the lives of other road users.
By supporting the national operation and tackling traffic on the M4 corridor we have been able to make the roads a safer and more secure place to be.”
Anyone wishing to report a vehicle crime should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.