Operation Utah: Essex Police

Over two hundred officers have taken part in a highly successful, large-scale policing operation in Thurrock with the focus of their efforts on travelling criminals.

Operation Utah was a 12-hour initiative supported by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Kent police forces.

Officers covered key strategic routes at the M25 Dartford River Crossing, the A13 stretch from the M25 to Basildon, Grays, the A130 Canvey Way and the A127 near Nevendon.

A central policing operating area was established at Moto Services at Junction 31 of the M25.

The operation employed the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology in addition to officers from other sections of Essex Police, including detectives, search teams and dog handlers.

Staff from partner agencies, such as VOSA, HMRC, the UK Border Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions, were also involved in the operation.

In the first 10 hours of the operation, 14 people were arrested for a variety of offences, including drugs and disqualified driving; 40 vehicles were seized after discovering they were uninsured for the road; 80 £60 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued for seatbelt and mobile telephone offences; 21 vehicles were prohibited from travelling any further due to their poor mechanical condition; 31 on-the-spot graduated fines were issued to foreign lorry drivers and HMRC issued £85,000 worth of fines to individuals.

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