Operation Vanquish: Nearly 80 people arrested during fortnight of action to tackle criminality on Lancashire’s roads

Almost 450 people were arrested, summoned to court or handed a traffic offence report during an operation to clamp down on criminality on Lancashire’s roads.

Lancashire Police have been out an about across the county since October 17 as part of another round of Operation Vanquish – a surge of activity to tackle those breaking the law on the roads.

Throughout the course of the operation officers have stopped vehicles at checkpoints and targeted those where intelligence suggests they may be involved in criminality.

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Officers subsequently detected hundreds of offences, including:

- 101 people with no insurance

- 74 people drink or drug-driving

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- 13 people using a mobile phone at the wheel

- 54 people with no MOT

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A van driver was reported for not driving with due care after ending up in the canal in Cabus (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Over the course of the fortnight 225 people were given traffic offence reports and 122 people were summonsed to court.

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79 people were also arrested between October 17 and 30.

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Specific stops include:

A lorry on the M6 carrying six tonnes of load which was held down by just two pieces of lashing (Credit: Lancashire Police)
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- A van driver reported for not driving with due care after ending up in the canal in Cabus. He was unharmed.

- A VW Golf which caught an officer’s attention on New Hall Lane, Preston, thanks to an illegal registration plate and excess speed. Once pulled over there was an “overwhelming” smell of cannabis and the driver tested positive at the roadside for drug-driving. He was arrested.

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- A Mercedes driver who failed to stop for officers and made off at 90mph in a 30mph zone. He finally pulled over at the Tickled Trout petrol station and was found to be disqualified from driving and drug-driving. He was arrested.

- A family travelling to see the illuminations in Blackpool in a stolen car. The driver initially failed to stop for officers, but once pulled over was found to be disqualified from driving, driving under the influence of cannabis and using false registration plates. We don’t think our blue lights were the illuminations he had in mind

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A VW Golf which caught an officer’s attention on New Hall Lane, Preston, thanks to an illegal registration plate and excess speed (Credit: Lancashire Police)

- A vehicle pulled over and found to have such low tyre tread the cord was exposed

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- A lorry on the M6 carrying six tonnes of load which was held down by just two pieces of lashing

- A driver in Galgate who was driving on a provisional licence, while transporting three children without seatbelts and a baby sitting on their mum’s knee in the front.

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What have Lancashire Police said?

Chief Insp Matt Willmot, of the Lancashire Police TacOps team, said: “We appreciate that most people drive safely and legally so first and foremost we would like to say thankyou to them.

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“We would also like to say a huge thankyou to the motorists who were stopped and found to be fully compliant with the law. Their patience and understanding was very much appreciated. We’d also like to thank those members of our communities who stopped to say hello to officers or who reported concerns about dangerous driving in their areas.

“However, there are still people who clearly believe the law doesn’t apply to them and it is to those people we say this: you risk your own and others’ lives when you drive illegally. If you are using the road network to commit crime – by couriering drugs, or simply by not checking your tyre treads – we are coming for you.

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“Although the two weeks of surge activity is now over, we’d like to stress that this type of work is part and parcel of our daily business, and we hope that this fortnight of activity shows that dangerous and criminal driving on Lancashire’s roads will not be tolerated.”

Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said: “It’s great to see proactive policing delivering results and addressing the concerns of the overwhelming majority of law abiding citizens.

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“This surge in activity through Operation Vanquish is an important part of the Chief Constable's response to my Fighting Crime Plan and demonstrates how we are taking the fight to those who drive dangerously on our roads, putting themselves and others at risk.

“It’s what we all want to see, officers out on our streets, our roads and in the heart of our communities. I will continue to back the Chief Constable with the resources he needs to get tough on criminals and make Lancashire safer.”

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If you have concerns about dangerous driving in your area, or you want to report somebody for driving illegally, you can do it online at doitonline.lancashire.police.uk or by calling 101.