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Dog units and firearms officers join police crackdown on vehicle offences in Ipswich town centre

PUBLISHED: 17:48 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:48 07 February 2018

Police and partner agencies carrying out inspections on vehicles.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police and partner agencies carrying out inspections on vehicles. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dozens of drivers were pulled over in central Ipswich today as dog units, firearms officers and traffic police cracked down on motorists during a day of action.

Police and partner agencies carrying out inspections on vehicles.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Police and partner agencies carrying out inspections on vehicles. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police bikes and cars escorted any vehicle that appeared to have defects and took them to a special check site at the Sainsbury’s supermarket in Hadleigh Road.

Teams were also looking out for drivers on their mobile phones or motorists not wearing seat belts, while number plate scanners checked for insurance offences.

Sniffer dogs searched vehicles for illegal substances alongside DVSA bosses who checked licences and insurance documents.

By 5pm today, four arrests had been made in connection with the operation.

Sergeant 473 Julian Ditcham.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Sergeant 473 Julian Ditcham. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In total, 63 vehicles were escorted to the check site.

Sergeant Julian Ditcham, from the Suffolk Constabulary Roads Policing Team, said: “Criminals use vehicles, and we are out there stopping vehicles.

“It’s a bit of a lucky game and that’s what we’re here about today.

“We’re here to try and frustrate the criminals whether they’re legally or illegally on the road.

One of the vehicles seized during the operation.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN One of the vehicles seized during the operation. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“If they’re out there today and they’ve got markers against their vehicle or their person or they just look suspicious, they’ll be stopped and if they are brought to this check site, they will be dealt with properly and fairly.”

Of the four arrests made, three were in connection with drug driving offences while a fourth person was arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified.

Several traffic offence reports were issued – 11 for no insurance, six for no MOT and three for no driving licence.

A total of 10 vehicles were seized under Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act, for having no insurance or MOT.

Sgt Ditcham added that the Hadleigh Road site was chosen because of its proximity to Ipswich town centre – and roads such as Bramford Road, Hadleigh Road, London Road and Norwich Road were targeted by officers.

Sgt Ditcham added: “There is a pattern in Ipswich where there has been an influx in the amount of vehicles on the road that have been driven without insurance or driven with the incorrect driving licence.

“So the advice is if you put a vehicle on the road, make sure it’s roadworthy, and also make sure it is taxed, has its MOT, is insured and you have the correct driving licence.”

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