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Operation Mermaid: A Fine Success

ESSEX road policing officers stopped and checked 56 vehicles on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 as they continued an operation to rid the county’s roads of dangerous and poorly-driven lorries.

The checks, carried out under Operation Mermaid, a nationwide campaign to improve road safety, were held at Thurrock services, off the M25. Officers from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, UK Border Agency and Thurrock Council were also involved in the operation.

Twelve vehicles were prevented from travelling any further because of mechanical defects; one was stopped because the driver had exceeded the legal time for being behind the wheel; one vehicle was halted under a hazardous materials prohibition and another was found to be overweight. Four vehicles were seized for having no insurance and a total of £1,100 was taken in fixed penalty charges and deposits.

A total of 170 hours infringements were also discovered.

Officers from UK Border Agency also stopped seven continental lorries whose operators had not paid fines for previous offences of carrying illegal immigrants. A total of £15,200 was collected in unpaid fines.


  1. This operation is all well and good but lorry drivers caught out of time behind the wheel on their taco’s are at the mercy of the Police for thwe simple fact there is no legal lorry park operated by Thurrock Council. Instead of Thurrock Council and local Essex Police in Thurrock intimidating and interfering with lorry drivers perhaps they should provide adequate legal lorry parks for which the people of Thurrock have only been demanding for the last 12 years. Whose fault is this the poor beleagued Lorry drivers or the Portfolio Holders for Crime and Disorder and Highways at Thurrock Council. I believe their names are Missus B Maney and N Rockliffe

  2. albert, where would you suggest placing this all singing all dancing lorry park? I thought that it was housing that was going to take all the available space in Thurrock?

    I don’t see how you class what the operation was doing as intimidation, reading teh report only 1 driver was over his time and a lot of these drivers fiddle the tacos due to pressure from their companies to stay on the road for as long as they can, the other offences were for mechanical failures, insurance ad hazardous substances, none of these would have been prevented by a lorry park

  3. If you look closer you will see more than 10% of the vehicles stopped were Foreign vehicles who cause such a big problem to the haulage industry in this country as their tax is much lower and as I understand their cost of running overall is much lower. They commit crimes and dont pay the fines and get away with it most of the time as they are based abroad.
    If we tax these lorries coming into the uk this would make the UK Haulage industry healthier and put less pressure on them to stretch to carrying out illegal actions.

  4. The way to do this, is build a lorry park and then police it and clamp those who flout the laws until either they or the companies pay up, if not crush the cabs like you do cars and get the scrap money plus charge storage money for the load!
    Escort any lorries that are illegal, to the park as well! No Way till they Pay! SIMPLES!


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