Operation Journey clamps down on illegal motorists

Let’s get everyone home safe. That is the message from Northamptonshire Police after more than 100 motoring offences were detected in the county over just one weekend.

Reducing the number of people who have lost their lives or been seriously injured and denying criminals access to our county’s roads remains a priority for the Force under Operation Journey.

Following a worrying rise in the number of fatal and serious injury collisions across Northamptonshire this year, the Force has undertaken a series of activities, one of which was this weekend (September 24/25), organised by the Safer Roads Team, to crackdown on those using our roads illegally and irresponsibly.

Supported by colleagues from the Special Constabulary and Response, the two days of action utilised ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology and good old-fashioned policing instinct.

Officers focused their attention on both sides of the county with the operation set up in and around Northampton and Corby, resulting in 103 motoring offences, 30 vehicles seized and six arrests.

The main offences detected were:

• 24 driving without valid insurance
• 21 non-wearing of seat belts
• 9 driving without valid road tax
• 7 vehicles in a dangerous condition
• 7 using a mobile phone behind the wheel
• 6 driving without a valid MOT
• 5 driving otherwise than accordance with a licence
• 3 defective tyres
• dangerous passenger loads

In addition to the motoring offences, seven people were issued with words of advice, a further 30 vehicles were seized (18 for no insurance, nine for no tax and three for no licence).

Whilst six people were arrested – two for driving while disqualified, one for drug driving, one for a serious assault, another for sexual offences and the final one for breach of a court order.

PC Dave Lee of the Safer Roads Team said: “Road safety is the responsibility of everyone, and although most people use our roads safely, there is a minority who still choose to put their own lives and that of others at risk by using our roads irresponsibly and illegally.

“It’s easy to criticise operations such as this as being motivated by ticket numbers or revenue, however we see, all too often, the devastating consequences the loss of a loved one has on those left behind to pick up the pieces.

“We’re not going to apologise for policing our roads and challenging the behaviour of those who think they are above the law, especially if it means that we stop just one person from being killed or having to come to terms with a life changing injury.

“Everyone needs to play their part to help save lives and one of the most basic, but essential, ways to do this is to ensure both you and your vehicle are fit for the road.”

Last year in Northamptonshire, 29 people were killed and a further 280 seriously injured on the county’s road network – which is why Northamptonshire Police will be launching a new Road Policing Team in 2023.

This specialist team will have responsibility for policing the road network, taking ownership for road safety and road crime policing. The team will also have drone, family liaison and ANPR capability as well as providing a licensed search function.

Detective Chief Inspector Shelley Nichols, who will head the new team, said: “This team will be policing the county’s road networks 24/7, and will be relentless in the task of disrupting and prosecuting those responsible for using our roads to commit offences.”

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