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Suspected criminal drivers taken off the road as eight people arrested after vehicle checks

PUBLISHED: 08:37 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:40 29 November 2018

Suffolk Police. Picture: Nick Butcher

Suffolk Police. Picture: Nick Butcher

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An operation to target criminals using Suffolk’s roads led to eight people being arrested as more than 60 vehicles were stopped in Lowestoft.

Suffolk police stopped 64 vehicles as part of Operation Quartzite on Monday, November 26 – with just nine of the vehicles leaving the site clear.

During the day vehicles were pulled over for a range of offences including not having insurance, not paying car tax, driving while using a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt.

In total seven people were arrested for drug driving, one person was arrested for drink driving and 49 Traffic Offence Reports were written.

Sgt Julian Ditcham, from the Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT), said: “Operation Quartzite is a series of proactive days of action, planned to underline the Constabulary’s determination to frustrate the activities of criminals, including serious and organised crime groups who seek to commit offences within our area.”

Officers from the RAPT team, Joint Scorpion (proactive) teams, Road Casualty Reduction Team and the police dog section joined together with partner agencies to carry out the police led multi-agency vehicle check at Belvedere Road in Lowestoft between 8am and 3pm on Monday.

Among the partner agencies in attendance was the DVSA, Environment Agency, DVLA and Marstons Civil debt recovery.

Sgt Ditcham said the day of action was “really positive.”

He said: “This is a great example of partnership working and provides in the area a high volume of visible police officers on the streets.

“Out of the 64 vehicles brought to the site, only nine left clear.”

The aim of the operation is to disrupt criminal activity, to catch those committing driving offences, and to remove unsafe vehicles from the road, with vehicle examinations all being carried out.

The operation, which has been running for more than three years, sees stopping days take place over Suffolk and Norfolk periodically.

Ahead of the festive season, and with officers from the Roads and Armed Policing Team out on patrols every day, Sgt Ditcham said: “If you drink and drive, or if you take drugs and drive, we are specifically targeting you.

“Our advice would be don’t drink and drive, and if you have taken illegal substances don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle.”

Arrests

The results, which are combined from all units participating in Operation Quartzite were:

Police made eight arrests, which were: Four for section 5a drug driving cannabis; two for Section 5a Drug driving Cocaine; one for Possession of Cannabis and one for section 5 Drink Driving.

49 Traffic Offence reports were issued which were: 14 for no seatbelt, Eight for no Insurance, Six for No Driving Licences, six for using Mobile Phones, six for No MOT, four for Defective tyres, three for Registration Plates and two for Contravening a red Traffic Light.

There were nine S165 seizure of vehicles for no insurance, one driver immediate revocation of driving licence for eyesight failure and Vehicle seized, two vehicle defect rectifications, 10 negative breath tests, eight negative drug saliva tests, seven Positive Drug tests.

Eight stop searches were carried out, with the passive drugs dog conducting 22 searches with nine indications and three drivers were arrested as a result.

The DVSA: Immediate prohibitions one, Delayed prohibitions four and advisory notices 10.

Marstons Civil Debt recovery: Total Fines collected £1,100 (non-payment of seatbelt fines).

DVLA: 12 ehicle clamps for untaxed vehicles, Recovered £3,120 in fines with five warning stickers issued £400 recovered, totalling £3,520 recovered.

Two vehicles were seized for being unable to pay.

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