New police commercial vehicle unit detects more than 1,000 offences

Commercial vehicle enforcement officers PC Wayne Sturman and PC Terry Harvey

Commercial vehicle enforcement officers PC Wayne Sturman and PC Terry Harvey - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

A new team dedicated to policing commercial vehicle use across Suffolk has detected more than 1,000 offences in just over seven months.

The Commercial Vehicle Unit (CVU) polices the strategic road network and the many goods vehicles travelling to and from the Port of Felixstowe.

Since it went live on November 23, 2020, the unit has stopped 969 vehicles, dealt with 1,436 offences and issued £181,950 in fines.

The unit is attached to the Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT), and consists of two police officers – Pc Wayne Sturman and Pc Terry Harvey, who are commercial vehicle enforcement officers, supervised by a RAPT sergeant. 

Inspector Gary Miller, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: "The work undertaken by PCs Sturman and Harvey in the CVU in just over seven months is exceptional.

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"For two officers to have stopped more than 900 vehicles in that time - detecting over 1,000 offences in the process - is a phenomenal effort that clearly demonstrates the importance of this unit and justifies its creation."

A total of 189 vehicles were prohibited from the roads, 80 were immobilised and 222 given warnings, for offences including being overweight, mechanical reasons/condition, insecure loads, tachograph infringements, carrying dangerous goods, abnormal loads and agricultural vehicles.

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Two vehicles have been stopped linked to haulage companies that have failed to pay fines for allowing illegal immigrants to enter the UK.

When these vehicles are stopped, the company has to pay the fine at the roadside, which can be several thousand pounds. Failure to do so results in the vehicle being seized.

The unit is also responsible for taxi checks throughout the county and has conducted two evenings of action so far in Ipswich and West Suffolk. 

Tim Passmore, police and crime commissioner for Suffolk, said: "I am delighted to see the latest results from the relatively new commercial vehicle unit. These officers are doing a fantastic job and the results are quite remarkable.

"This targeted roads policing unit was funded by the policing precept of last year’s council tax and it has had tremendous success to date as these latest figures show.

"Keeping our roads safe and the traffic moving is so important, particularly on the A14. The A14 is a vital national gateway to the Port of Felixstowe – the largest container port in the country and we have a huge amount of commercial traffic which needs to be monitored for dangerous vehicles and driver offences.”

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