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Five arrests, 50 cars stopped and £15,000 reclaimed in crackdown on uninsured drivers

PUBLISHED: 15:46 17 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:46 17 November 2018

Over 50 drivers were asked to stop for a range of motoring offences, with five arrests made in the course of the work. Picture: NSRAPT

Over 50 drivers were asked to stop for a range of motoring offences, with five arrests made in the course of the work. Picture: NSRAPT

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Uninsured drivers in Ipswich town centre were the latest targets of a week-long crackdown led by Suffolk Constabulary.

Seven hours of work in the centre of Ipswich with the DVLA and Ipswich Borough Council parking fines team, as well as a debt collectors Marstons, has reclaimed over £15,000 in outstanding fines, payments and fees. Picture: NSRAPTSeven hours of work in the centre of Ipswich with the DVLA and Ipswich Borough Council parking fines team, as well as a debt collectors Marstons, has reclaimed over £15,000 in outstanding fines, payments and fees. Picture: NSRAPT

Uninsured drivers in Ipswich town centre were the latest targets of a week-long crackdown led by Suffolk Constabulary.

The force behind Operation Drive Insured comprised of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team (NSRAPT), The Ipswich Borough Council parking fines team, the DVLA and debt collection company Marston, who took up their post in the heart of Ipswich’s road network on November 14.

Over a seven-hour stint the team made 56 stops, arresting five drivers and reclaiming £15,137 through unpaid insurance, road tax and fines.

Sgt Julian Ditcham, part of the NSRAPT, said: “The checks we carried out were part of the National Police Chief’s Council enforcement campaign to get uninsured drivers off the roads.

“Specifically, we have caught people who are uninsured and those being unsafe on the roads.”

The unit used their combined databases of offending cars thought to be in the area and checked vehicles using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to catch the criminals.

Of the 54 vehicles stopped, four drivers were arrested for testing positive for cocaine, cannabis or both at the roadside and another was arrested over failing to provide driver information.

Three drivers were caught talking on a mobile phone, four had no MOT, two had no licence and 11 drivers had no insurance.

The combined agencies used a collection of databases and ANPR technology to identify drivers to stop. Picture: NSRAPTThe combined agencies used a collection of databases and ANPR technology to identify drivers to stop. Picture: NSRAPT

Debt enforcers also collected outstanding parking fines, speeding fines and DART charges for the Dartford Crossing.

He said: “this is a multi-agency approach with police engagement to try and remove the criminals from Suffolk roads.

“Typically, criminals do not use buses. They are driving around this county and are a potential danger to law abiding drivers.

“That’s why we’re carrying out these high-visibility patrols in confined areas and dealing with offenders.”

Drivers were issued with a total of 20 Traffic Offence Reports, covering those using a mobile phone or driving without a seatbelt. Picture: NSRAPTDrivers were issued with a total of 20 Traffic Offence Reports, covering those using a mobile phone or driving without a seatbelt. Picture: NSRAPT

The enforcement campaign continues until November 18, but Sgt Ditcham was clear that the police will stop every uninsured driver they catch.

He added: “This is part of our daily business as police, but this work is specifically targeted at a particular group of offenders.

“We have a message to anyone thinking of committing one of these crimes: the police are actively targeting you.

“We want to make Suffolk a safer place.”

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