POLICE mounted roadblocks across the borough in a force-wide crackdown against dodgy vehicles and their dodgy owners.
Five people were arrested and more than 30 uninsured cars taken off the roads during the Greater Manchester-wide operation involving more than 60 Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.
In Wigan borough a number of blockades were set up and several vehicles stopped when details did not tally.
And as a result two cars were seized because the owners were not insured. They were a BMW 3 Series at the junction of Orchard Lane and Leigh Road and a Saab S Turbo stopped at King’s Park off Leigh Road, both in Leigh.
More than 150 officers were involved across the force between 3pm and 11pm on Thursday. ANPR devices are used by police around the UK to detect and remove serious criminals, unsafe vehicles and unsafe drivers from our roads.
The devices scan vehicle registrations and check them against information stored on the Police National Computer and other databases. Officers are instantly alerted if the vehicle is of interest to police.
Officers intercepted 87 vehicles in total and seized 31 cars that were being driven without insurance.
Supt Craig Thompson, from GMPs Specialist Operations Branch, said: “Many criminals rely on vehicles to commit crime and by denying them use of the roads we are better placed to enforce the law and prevent and detect crime.
“We know there is a strong link between illegal use of motor vehicles on the road and other types of serious crime and ANPR cameras are an invaluable tool in our fight against committed criminals and organised crime groups.
“The message to those who flout the rules of the road or who use our highways in the pursuit of crime is quite simple - we will use all the equipment available to us to identify you and bring you to justice.
“We have seized dozens of cars that were being driven without insurance and it is these drivers that can have the biggest impact and cause the most inconvenience to other motorists.
“The public should be reassured that this is by no means a one-off operation and we will be carrying out similar crackdowns in the near future.”