SEVEN people were arrested when police stopped and checked 35 vehicles as part of an operation to rid the county’s roads of dangerous and poorly-driven commercial vehicles.
The checks, carried out under Operation Mermaid, the nationwide campaign to improve road safety, were held on Thursday December 5 at Moto services off the M25 at Thurrock.
Two women and two teenage girls were arrested and later charged with shoplifting after officers stopped a vehicle at London Road, Grays and found a large quantity of food items from a local supermarket.
A man from South London who was stopped while driving a tipper lorry was arrested and charged after officers found he was a disqualified driver. The 32-ton lorry was seized after it was found to have been driven by a disqualified driver.
Two men from Kent were arrested in connection with the theft of tyres. They were later bailed pending further investigations.
Seven other vehicles were seized for having no insurance, three drivers were found to have out of date MOTs, three drivers were stopped for not wearing seat belts.
One driver was prosecuted for using a van in dangerous condition after a passenger was found sitting in a fold-up garden chair in the back of the vehicle. He was given a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice and three points on his driving licence.
An Irish lorry driver was fined £200 and prohibited from the road to take a rest break of 11 hours after officers found that there was no recording disk in his vehicle’s tachograph equipment.
A total of 19 commercial vehicles were checked on a weighbridge and eight drivers were given Fixed Penalty Notices, including one driver whose vehicle was overloaded by 90 per cent.
Officers from the Essex Casualty Reduction Unit and the Commercial Vehicle Unit were also joined by colleagues from similar units in the Metropolitan Police who also carried out a large number of stop checks.
A 46-year-old woman from Grays, a 38-year-old woman from Canterbury, a 17-year-old girl from Chelmsford and a 17-year-old girl from Canterbury, were all charged with shoplifting at Grays and were bailed to appear at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on January 3.
A 52-year-old man from Rotherhithe, south London, was charged with driving while disqualified and was bailed to appear at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on January 3.
1. Some of the vehicles that were seized for not being insured
2. A driver was given a Fixed Penalty fine of £60 and three points on his licence for carrying a passenger in this dangerous ‘back seat’ in a van