Rogue traders and dodgy dealers snared during successful police sting

9:41am Saturday 12th April 2014

By James Connell

ROGUE traders, criminals and dodgy dealers were targeted in a successful sting operation which included an arrest.

Police pulled over transit vans and flatbed vans and used automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to identify suspect vehicles as part of an operation to target ‘rogue traders’.

Vans and some cars were pulled over by unmarked police cars and officers on motorbikes before their vehicles were examined at Sixways Stadium, Worcester, on Wednesday.

In total, 38 vehicles were stopped and one arrest was made for insurance offences and other criminal activity, a spokesman for West Mercia Police confirmed.

One man, who was taking his wife to Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester for an appointment in a Nissan Almera Sport, was coming up as “no insurance” on the police database although the driver said he had completed the forms online.

Sgt Tom Clayton, who oversaw the operation, said: “Trading standards also got quite a significant amount of intelligence which really was the purpose of the operation about rogue traders.

“It has been the most successful operation we have done, resource-wise. It has been very positive and we have got a lot of good results. It has vindicated the cost of putting on the operation.

“It has more than justified the resources used.”

The operation, which involved between 25 and 30 officers, was organised in partnership between West Mercia Police, trading standards, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, (formerly VOSA), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and motorway police.

Three drivers were dealt with for licensing offences and three (including the driver who was arrested) for insurance offences.

One person was dealt with for offences under the Scrap Metal Act and their scrap metal was seized. Seven people were given prohibition notices for vehicle defects and two were reported for vehicle defect offences.

Two vehicles were seized by revenue and customs, one for using red diesel and the other because it contained 80 litres of untaxed foreign fuel, stored in drums. Both drivers agreed to pay fines of £580 each to get their vehicles back.

The driver of a white Ford transit van was found to have a revoked licence.

He claimed he did not actually know his licence had been revoked because he had not attended the court hearing when the licence was revoked.

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