Police patrols launch crackdown on road crime across Lancashire

Police have launched a drive to take crime off the roads of Lancashire.

By Brian Ellis
Monday, 28th February 2022, 4:49 pm

Teams of officers are sweeping the county this week targeting motorists who use the highway network to break the law.

From using a mobile phone at the wheel to transporting packages of drugs, the force says the hunt is on to capture drivers indulging in criminality.

“We hope this sends a message that we will not tolerate those who commit criminal activity,” warned Supt Damian Darcy at the launch of Operation Vanquish.

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Special patrols will target all areas of the county this week to catch travelling criminals.

"We are committed to making our streets safer for those who live and work in Lancashire."

The operation began this morning (Monday) and will continue at various locations around the county all week.

Within minutes of setting out one team pulled over a woman motorist suspected of drink driving in the middle of the day. The police had been alerted to the vehicle by members of the public.

The driver blew positive and was taken into custody. A search of her vehicle uncovered a can of beer and a bottle of vodka.

First of the day - Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden is shown alcohol found in the car of a suspected drink driver.

Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew Snowden, was with the team and watched the arrest.

He told the Post "We have just witnessed an arrest for drink driving which has been part of dealing with public intelligence that has come in and then acting upon that, tracking the car down, doing that breathalyser and taking that person off the road.

"We are having this intensification of operations across the whole of Lancashire this week. But the roads policing unit are out there doing it day after day, night after night.

"Our message is really, really clear: If you want to drink and drive, just don't, because we will catch you."

CI Matt Wilmott was heading up the Operation Vanquish patrols on Day One.

The officer heading up the Operation Vanquish patrols today was CI Matt Wilmott. He explained: "Our particular focus this week is on dangerous drivers and those who use Lancashire's roads for criminal purposes.

"We will have officers out from our headquarters operations unit and also we will be working alongside local officers to pay particular focus on people who commit road traffic offences or dangerous driving within the county and also using the county's roads network for criminal purposes such as the movement of drugs throughout the county.

"We will be undertaking check sites using some of our intelligence systems with support from our communications team in the control room who are really experienced in identifying those vehicles or those drivers who present the greatest risk and the greatest threat to the county of Lancashire."

CI Wilmott said those targeted were "people who insist on driving while disqualified or driving regularly while they are under the influence of drink or drugs, perhaps we have had an intervention with them before and they are still doing it and haven't learned their lesson.

"Those people who use their mobile phones while they are driving and don't realise that lack of concentration while using their phone could lead to a fatal collision or cause serious injury to another person.

"And also those people who insist on using Lancashire's roads for criminal purposes such as the movement of drugs or the involvement of county lines criminality. We will take really positive action against them.

"We know that the vast majority of road users within Lancashire do so lawfully.

"So the vast majority of people have nothing to worry about when they see an increased (police) presence on Lancashire's roads this week.

"Our focus is absolutely on those why present the greatest threat to safe drivers within Lancashire."