Criminals targeted in police operation using the Thetford road network
- Credit: Ian Burt
Police from six counties joined forces to tackle criminal activity on the road network around Thetford.
Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit were joined by colleagues from Essex, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridge to tackle a range of crimes including drink driving, speeding and uninsured vehicles.
Motorcycle officers and unmarked police cars patrolled the A11, A134 towards Munford, B1106 towards Brandon, A1075 towards Watton and A1066 towards Diss using the Sainsbury's car park as a base.
Within a few hours of Operation Alliance's launch yesterday, four people had been arrested on suspicion of drug driving.
Identified vehicles - which included a car towing a caravan and another towing a horse box - were brought back to the check point where agencies including the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and HM Revenue & Customs and Trading Standards were waiting.
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Sergeant Peter Howlett, from Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing and Firearms Unit, said criminals are travelling a lot more and use roads like the A11 to travel from London to Norwich to deal drugs.
He said: 'We are looking to reduce criminality and prevent criminals using the road network - because all criminals have to travel from one location to another.
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'And we are looking to reinforce our fatal four offences, which are don't speed, wear a seatbelt, don't drink or take drugs when you're driving and don't use a mobile phone.'
Police use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to identify criminals and offences.
Fuel testing, vehicle examinations and drugs tests were carried out during the operation.
Sgt Howlett said operations which include other police forces working in partnership are important.
'It is important for us to get the message out there to people that we are going to keep doing this,' He said. 'We are going to enforce the road traffic law and we are going to prevent criminals from using the road network. And we will hopefully recover property.'
He added: 'We've got a number of opportunities here to make a difference.'
The operation will be carried out across the eastern region during this week.