Criminals are snared on motorways

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A CLAMPDOWN on criminals using motorways around Wigan borough has been a hailed a success by police.

Operation Coalition, which involved all four of the North West’s police forces, saw officers swoop on criminals using the M6 near Wigan as part of a day of action on June 5.

In total, seven arrests were made for a variety of offences including possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply, assault and theft of three motor vehicles.

In total, 312 vehicles were stopped and 192 motorists were breathalysed. A total of 111 road traffic offences were identified and 97 motorists received an on the spot penalty.

Some 20 vehicles were also seized for being driven either without insurance or a licence or because they were being driven in an anti-social manner.

Superintendent Craig Thompson from the North West Motorway Police Group said: “The day of action was the accumulation of many months of work. Coordinating a joint operation and involving a variety of agencies, we have really been able to bring the full strength of the law to bear on the network.

“The aim of the day was to highlight to everyone who uses the network the work undertaken by all the agencies involved to keep them safe and disrupt any criminal’s intent on using motorway network to conduct their illegal activity.

“The law abiding citizens that had their journeys interrupted or were spoken to at service areas understood why they had been stopped and supported what we were doing.”

“The operation delivered the right message to the right people which can clearly be seen by the number of arrests made on the day. Drivers have the right to use the motorway network without being concerned about their safety whether that relates to the illegal activity or organised crime gangs or illegal and unsafe drivers putting other people’s lives at risk.

“Anyone who drives on the regions motorways can be assured if they break the law officers from the North West Motorway Police Group will not tolerate their excuses.

“The motorway network in the North West plays a very important role in the region’s economy and it is vital that we keep the network safe for ordinary people to use and for those people in commerce and industry to be able to go about their day to day business without fear and in safety.”

Chief Inspector Deborah Howard, from Lancashire’s Road Policing Unit said: “We were really keen to get involved in this day of action to ensure that everybody using the motorways to travel to or through Lancashire and the region as a whole, do so safely and legally. Working in partnership with other forces and agencies has proven to be really effective.”