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Special Constables support multi-agency HGV truck and bus campaign

On Thursday, 27 July 2017, a multi-agency team - including officers from West Mercia Police's Protective Services Directorate and Operational Policing Unit Special Constables - undertook an operation on the A41 at Prees Heath, near Whitchurch, in support of the week-long TISPOL (the European Traffic Police Network) national campaign checking HGV trucks and buses.

In addition to West Mercia Police and the two Special Constables, the team included representatives from Cheshire Police, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (formerly the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) and other organisations that take an interest in the road network.

During the course of the Prees Heath operation approximately 50 vehicles were stopped. These were mainly heavy goods vehicles and coaches. Tachographs were checked and one driver was fined £900 for a lack of breaks on several occasions.

HMRC located a goods vehicle which was running on incorrect fuel and this led to other vehicles and fuel being seized at the vehicle's depot. One vehicle was dealt with for misuse of trade plates which could lead to the revocation of the plates by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. Several prohibitions and tickets were also issued to vehicles for various offences, including illegal tyres, loading offences and mobile phone use.

PC Nik Stafford, of the Collision Investigation Team, which is part of West Mercia Police's Protective Services Directorate, said: "Special Constables are a valued asset as they conduct many routine checks on the drivers and ascertain whether an insurance policy is in force at the time. They work alongside a variety of experts in their fields that assist with the more complex enquiries or examinations".

"We will hopefully have several others operations running through the rest of the year and we will need the valued assistance of Special Constables again to support within the operation area."