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More than 140 vehicles seized and 105 people arrested in Norwich crackdown on illegal vehicles

PUBLISHED: 09:17 28 June 2018 | UPDATED: 19:54 28 June 2018

Norwich police's Operation Moonshot have arrested 105 people and seized 142 vehicles (Image: Norwich police)

Norwich police's Operation Moonshot have arrested 105 people and seized 142 vehicles (Image: Norwich police)

Archant

Police have seized some 140 vehicles in Norwich and arrested more than 100 people in the space of just 25 days, as part of a crackdown.

And Norfolk police’s chief constable said the “amazing” operation had exceeded his expectations.

Originally trialled in 2016, Operation Moonshot is a scheme designed to identify cars being used illegally as they come in and out of the county using automatic number plate recognition.

Over the past 25 days, Norwich has been the hunting ground for the team overseeing the operation. And in that time, they have seized 142 vehicles and arrested 105 people.

Norwich police tweeted: “Great work from the team... and their hard work will be continuing over the coming months.”

One of the vehicles seized as part of Norfolk police's Operation Moonshot. Pic: Norfolk Constabulary.One of the vehicles seized as part of Norfolk police's Operation Moonshot. Pic: Norfolk Constabulary.

Chief constable Simon Bailey said: “The Moonshot team have been amazing and surpassed my expectations. This is the 2020 policing model starting to make a difference and there is more to come!

Operation Moonshot was initially launched in west Norfolk as a six-month pilot scheme under Norfolk Constabulary’s 2020 restructuring review.

But it has since proved to be so successful in disrupting organised crime that it has been expanded.

The operation involves officers using a combination of technology and intelligence to catch criminals, often as they leave or enter the county by vehicle.

One of the vehicles seized as part of Norfolk police's Operation Moonshot. Pic: Norfolk Constabulary.One of the vehicles seized as part of Norfolk police's Operation Moonshot. Pic: Norfolk Constabulary.

Using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, the team is able to quickly spot vehicles of interest.

Officers always operate as a double crew, and carry Tasers, due to the type of criminals they could be dealing with.

They are then placed on the main routes into the county, or in areas where criminals have been known to strike.

In the two years up to May this year, the Operation Moonshot team had made 501 arrests, seized 689 vehicles and returned more than £1m worth of high-value items to victims.

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