Criminal drivers caught by police

MORE than 350 offences were discovered by police during an eight-week attempt to tackle vehicle crime.

Police officers used high-visibility patrols and information from residents to target car-based criminal activity and insufficient driving standards. The aim was to focus on reducing violent crime and nuisance behaviour by directing police officers to various hotspots.

Officers also stopped vehicles, looked for suspicious activity and checked drivers’ documents.

During the two-month operation they managed to stop 336 cars, vans, motorbikes and lorries, including 40 taxis.

Officers uncovered 358 offences and seized 37 vehicles. They carried out 41 breath tests and nine drivers tested positive for excess alcohol. Members of the team also used their stop and search powers 19 times. Also involved were district and borough council staff and county council licensing officers.

Sergeant Bob French, who led the operation, said: “I’m extremely pleased with these very positive results. Our aim was to enhance public safety, making Northamptonshire’s roads a safer place to travel, and a hostile place for mobile criminality.

“Our partnership work with our council licensing officers, identifying legitimate Hackney and private hire drivers and vehicles, and ensuring the safety of these vehicles, was fundamental to our aims, in particular looking to protect lone females and vulnerable people at night.”

The operation also uncovered 160 offences relating to driver standards including speeding, the breaking of traffic orders, not wearing a seat belt or using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Officers also recorded 108 offences relating to missing or invalid driving licences and MOT certificates, including 37 people driving with no insurance.

They also caught 64 people driving vehicles with inadequate lighting or that were unfit for the road. They made 14 arrests, reported 22 drivers to court and issuing 62 tickets.