Searching for stolen machinery

TWO police forces have launched joint operations aimed at targeting stolen goods.

Officers from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit have carried out three operations targeting stolen industrial machinery being transported on the roads.

The operations, known as Operation Crassus, were aimed at identifying stolen plant machinery, bringing offenders to justice for plant theft or other suspected offences, promote road safety, identify and report road traffic offences and promote vehicle security and anti-theft initiatives.

Operations took place in partnership with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) on Tuesday, November 6, on the A19 southbound near Portrack, south of Billingham, on Tuesday, November 13, on the A181 at Wellfield and on Wednesday, November 14, on the A174 at Lazenby, near Redcar.

Police said 26 vehicles were stopped and checked, 10 prohibitions issued by VOSA for offences such as worn tyres and brakes, two vehicles were seized for having no insurance, two fixed penalty notices were issued for motoring offences and one driver was summonsed to court for driving while disqualified.

Acting Sergeant Jason Coverdale, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “While we did not recover any stolen plant this time, a number of offences were detected. We are not deterred from continuing with our operations in a bid to bring those that steal plant before the courts and to make our roads safe.”