LATEST NEWS: Drivers slapped with bans and court summons in safety crackdown

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POLICE stopped dozens of vans and trucks in a crack down on vehicle safety, officers have announced.

Officers from Northumbria Police’s Road Safety Unit, supported by VOSA and HMRC, stopped 39 vehicles during Operation Mermaid on Thursday October 11.

The team set up on the A1 southbound at Washington Services.

Six drivers were slapped with prohibition notices banning their vehicles from being driven for a total of 14 offences, and two vehicles were uplifted and taken away.

Two drivers were found to have no insurance and one was driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence. They will now be dealt with in court.

The operation supported a national day of action regarding metal theft which took place across the country on Thursday.

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt of Northumbria Police said: “This was a high-profile operation where we were stopping commercial vehicles at random on the motorway in a bid to promote road safety and take action against anyone flouting the regulations.

“It ran in tandem with the nationwide initiative and is part of an ongoing programme targeting goods vehicles from HGVs to small vans and scrap metal trucks.”

DCI Janice Hutton added: “We continue to pay regular visits to scrap metal recyclers to remind them of their responsibilities and we work together with the community to ensure they know metal theft is unacceptable.

“This operation was carried out in support of a national day of action but activity takes place on a daily basis across the Northumbria Police force area to disrupt those suspected of being involved in metal theft.”