OVER 40 vehicles were stopped and checked by police volunteers during a day of action in County Durham and Cleveland.
‘Operation Basingstoke’ saw officers from Durham and Cleveland Special Constabularies operating two roadside checkpoints on the A689, on Saturday June 2.
With the assistance of ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras, officers targeted vehicles without tax, without registered keepers, and without insurance, as well as suspected drink/drug drivers, non-roadworthy vehicles, and other motoring offences.
5 vehicles were seized, as well as 5 VDRS issued for vehicle defects, 7 fixed penalty notices issued, 14 drivers reported for miscellaneous offences, and 2 arrested for theft.
AS/Sgt Tweddell, of Cleveland & Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “The A689 is often used by travelling criminals, so these checkpoints allow us to intercept suspects moving between force areas.
“In particular, we’ve focussed on the ‘Fatal 4’ offences, which are the leading causes of death and injury on UK roads.”
The ‘Fatal 4’ offences are drink/drug driving, excessive speed, use of a handheld device, and not wearing a seatbelt. 3 drivers were reported for these offences throughout the day.
Operation Basingstoke was operated in partnership with the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency and the Environment Agency, who assisted in carrying out vehicle checks.
Their involvement resulted in 9 DVSA prohibitions for offences including corrosion and a defective prop shaft, and 1 Environment Agency prohibition for illegal waste dumping at an unlicensed site.
The operation coincided with National Volunteers Week and National Specials Weekend, which highlights the valuable contribution of volunteers in policing.
SI Usher, of Durham Special Constabulary, said: “Due to the deep cuts to police budgets, it’s absolutely essential to maintain a strong Special Constabulary who have the skillset and knowledge to effectively deal with roads policing matters.
“Special Constables within Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit receive a raft of extra training, such as a vehicle examiner’s course and in the use of ANPR.”
Officers in the Special Constabulary possess the same powers of arrest as those in the regular constabulary, and commit a minimum of 192 duty hours per year.