POLICE HAVE MOVED to reassure motorists that they are not being specifically targeted in an operation that saw many being stopped just outside Elgin.
More than 100 vehicles were checked in Elgin and Aberdeen this month during a national crackdown that the North East force say was aimed at foreign criminals rather than local motorists.
The Division’s road policing unit took part in ‘Operation Trivium’, a national multi-agency operational and intelligence-led initiative focused on detecting and deterring all types of criminality on our roads.
On May 16 in Elgin and two days later near Aberdeen, police stopped vehicles with a particular emphasis on the use of mobile Automatic Number Plate Technology (ANPR) and foreign registered vehicles including commercial vehicles.
The road checks were carried out with the Trunk Road Patrol Group and local community policing teams as well as partner agencies from driver and vehicle standards, UK Border Agency, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department of Work and Pensions.
During the checks more than one hundred vehicles were stopped, with the vast majority found to be in order.
Unfortunately, officers did discover a wide range of road traffic offences in addition, including tyre, seat belt, lighting and exhaust offences. These were variously disposed of with offenders being reported to the Procurator Fiscal, issued with a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty or a Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme Notice.
More serious offences included several vehicles that were prohibited from further use due to braking defects, breaches relating to the carriage of dangerous goods and tachographs. One person was arrested for drink/driving and one vehicle was seized after it had been driven without insurance.
Road Policing Inspector Jon Barron said: “I must stress that we are actively targeting criminals, not the communities these offenders are from. While Trivium does target those who try to use borders to cover their criminal tracks through an international show of determination, its focus on general road safety and ensuring legitimate use of vehicles sits neatly alongside our local focus of Operation CEDAR.
“Foreign nationals who commit crime in the UK, and who use our roads to facilitate that criminality, may feel they are untouchable. Operations like this are not stand-alone activities and demonstrate our absolute commitment to cross-border policing.
“They also enable us to build on the already well established links with partner agencies and to share information and intelligence on criminals and any emerging tactics they use. We couldn’t do this alone and very much appreciate the active involvement of those partners.”
Anyone with information with regards to any road crime issues is urged to contact Police Scotland on 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.