Vehicles seized during festive clampdown

By Tim Clarke Friday 21 December 2012 Updated: 21/12 16:13

VEHICLES were seized during a festive clampdown on drink-drivers and other motorists found to be flouting the law.

Police officers stopped more than 50 drivers on the A4440 on Thursday (Dec 20) who were breathalysed with extra checks carried out on 27 of the vehicles by officials from Worcestershire Trading Standards and HM Revenue and Customs.

While none of the drivers provides a positive breath test, the extra checks revealed a number of other motoring offences.

These included a white panel van which was dealt with by HMRC for using red diesel and was fined more than £530.

A trailer which is thought to have been stolen in Leominster in August 2011 was seized, while another driver was arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified.

Two vehicles were dealt with for having no MOT and another for driving without insurance, which was seized.

Four intelligence-led drug searches took place, but nothing was found.

The operation, which ran from 10am to 4pm, used mobile ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras to detect any vehicles linked to travelling criminality, while officers also stopped any other vehicles which roused suspicion.

Any vehicles that were thought to need further checks were guided onto a site A38 at Clerkenleap to be processed.

Inspector Stuart Murphy, who led the operation, said: "People drink the night before at office parties or at home but don't realise if they are stopped in a car the next morning they could still be over the legal limit."

"Even with the campaigns on TV, people don't realise or choose to ignore that they are over the limit and if caught will lose their licence and in extreme cases, go to prison."

"It was a very productive day it was pleasing that no one provided a positive breath test, especially among the drivers we stopped in the morning. However, our drink drive campaign will not let up over Christmas and the New Year - since it was launched on 1 December, 138 people across West Mercia and Warwickshire have been arrested for driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

"We want to ensure our streets and roads are safe for all."

"Most of the drivers we stopped appreciated what were doing and why. I would like to thank those who were not guilty of any violations for their patience while they were dealt with."

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