Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Foreign lorry drivers targeted in crime crackdown

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A major police operation aimed at foreign criminals using Britain's road network has led to hundreds of commercial vehicles being stopped and £23,000 in fines being issued in Swindon.

Officers from Wiltshire Police, along with staff from the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency and HM Revenues and Customs were stationed at Junction 15 of the M4 at Swindon on Thursday.

They stopped and searched 294 vehicles, of which 167 were 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 police issued over £23,000 of fines, arrested one drink driver and issued 32 prohibition notices for vehicles being overweight, with a total of 192 overweight offences being identified.

Head of Tri-Force Roads Policing Operations Inspector Steve Cox said: “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."

Officers worked with police from Poland, Romania and Lithuania to check systems in the relevant country for wanted persons or other offences, or even to interpret for UK police.

Operation Trivium 3 has been taking place across the UK, using roads to focus on identifying and dismantling criminal groups responsible for crimes such as illegal immigration and human trafficking, firearms offences, fraud, metal theft and drug related crimes.