Three lorries carrying £50,000 of smuggled beer have been seized during a safety operation by Essex Police’s commercial vehicle unit.
The trucks. which had been carrying loads imported from France, were stopped and checked at Moto services, Thurrock on Thursday April 7, 2011 as part of Operation Mermaid, the national campaign to rid the roads of dangerous and poorly driven lorries, vans and other commercial vehicles.
The vehicles and their loads were confiscated following enquiries by Customs and Excise officers working alongside police and vehicle examiners from VOSA the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
A total of 77 vehicles were stopped and checked by police during Thursday’s operation. Twenty-one were found to have mechanical defects, 11 of which led to vehicles being taken off the road until repairs were carried out. Officers also found 245 drivers hours prohibitions and two drivers were ordered to take rests.
One vehicle was seized for a licence offence, nine other offences were detected and one lorry was taken off the road for a hazardous materials offence. A total of £3,180 was taken in fines and deposits.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s commercial vehicle unit also carried out simultaneous Operation Mermaid stop checks at Moto Services and checked vehicles using the M25. Kent Police also carried out Operation Mermaids stop checks at the same time at Dartford.
In a separate Operation Mermaid on Wednesday, April 6, 43 vehicles were checked, six mechanical faults were found, 208 driver hours infringements were detected and 13 other offences were dealt with. A total of £2,100 was taken in fines and deposits.