Offenders targeted in Leeds road crime crackdown

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More than three dozen drivers found themselves without cars as a result of a West Yorkshire Police operation against criminals using the county’s road network.

Officers seized 38 cars after stopping vehicles and unearthed a catalogue of other offences, with two people wanted by the force arrested, 84 tickets issued for a range of offences, eight people summonsed to appear at Magistrates Court and 17 people ordered to repair faults found on their vehicles.

One driver was found to be using red diesel, which is meant for agricultural vehicles and is illegal on the road, and the drivers of 31 private hire cars were found to be committing offences by acting outside the restrictions of their licence.

Extra police were called in for the initiative and worked with officials from The Motor Insurance Bureau, Environment Agency, VOSA, Benefit Fraud, HM Revenue and Customs and private hire enforcement.

They also made use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to catch criminals in the act.

Now they have promised the exercise will be repeated, using intelligence information to ensure they work where criminals are known to operate.

Chief Inspector Paul Hepworth said: “While criminals continue to use West Yorkshire’s road networks we continue to run operations like this. The fact that in just one day we were able to seize 38 cars and disrupt the activities of criminals shows how successful we can be by working together with partners.

“Intelligence-lead deployment means that the Police are able to accurately target active criminals and pursue them for traffic offences to disrupt their criminality,” he said.

A British Rail Class 155 diesel multiple unit (DMU) at Leeds station. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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