|On the look out.|
Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in a widespread police operation in the Sudbury area.
Members of the Safer Neighbourhood Team, together with other officers plus partners from HMRC and Babergh District Council, among others, all congregated at an early hour at Sudbury police station and then fanned out across the Sudbury area to combat a wide range of crimes and misdemeanours.
Targets included people in possession of drugs or offensive weapons, money launderers, and young people skiving off school. Checks were made on over fifty firearms licence holders and one licenced premises was caught selling alcohol to an under-age person.
I was thrilled to be offered the chance to spend a few hours in a police car (well, I do have a weakness for fast cars!). I found myself initially in an unmarked car that identifies the number plates of cars that may not have insurance, may be stolen or have other issues. This was quite exciting, but unfortunately it seemed that the miscreants guilty of such offences were largely still abed during the morning rush. What was more gripping was flagging down likely looking diesel driven cars (blue light flashing and siren wailing!),and then accompanying them to a checking station run by HMRC up at B and Q’s car park. Here they were checked to make sure that the contents of their petrol tank did not contain red diesel. I understand that at least one person was caught resulting in an instant fine.
The officers who were kind enough to put up with me during the morning told me that a good deal of their time at present is spent looking out for the perpetrators of rural burglaries and thefts. Several vehicles were stopped and checked yesterday in areas where burglaries have been perpetrated, which should serve as something of a warning.
|Dipping for red diesel|
I understand that on the whole the operation was a great success with a number of tangible outcomes. In addition the message that was sent to the community that the police, along with other partners, continue to combat crime and anti-social behaviour in the area despite the effect that cuts from central government are potentially having on morale and operational effectiveness.