A ROADSIDE operation helped put the brakes on thieves and other offenders.
Three units were set up on the roads leading to Dalton Park in Murton as part of a campaign launched in the run-up to the festive season and on into the sales.
It aimed to catch criminals travelling through and to the area, with vehicles heading along the sliproads from the A19, the main road through the village and along Stockton Road in Seaham.
As a result of information flagged up by Durham Constabulary’s Automatic Numberplate Recognition Plate equipment, 40 cars were stopped during the sessions.
Checks led to four cars being seized under the Operation Takeaway, a force campaign which removes non-insured cars from the roads.
One driver was given a penalty ticket for using their mobile phone behind the wheel, another was reported for failing to pay road tax and drugs were found in two of the cars searched.
Sergeant Jim Peel, of Seaham Neighbourhood Policing Team, helped co-ordinate Operation Nawton, which tied in with an action plan to increase patrols in the area’s shopping precincts.
He said: “Efforts such as these, which target criminals travelling around the area, should offer reassurance to all those who use the roads legally.
“In addition to these results I’m pleased there were no thefts from Dalton Park during this operation.
“We did this not because there’s a problem, but we wanted to make sure in the run-up to Christmas and following period, there was no retail crime and we did conquer that.”