Lancashire police seize 149 vehicles in one week in county-wide traffic stops
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Police also used automatic number plate recognition systems to take dozens of cars, motorbikes and vans off the streets in the past week.
Among these was a stolen Ford Fiesta, which police were called to in Southport, close to the Merseyside Police border, on Wednesday night.
A 125mph police chase ensued, resulting in the car being stung by officers. Three people fled from the scene, and remain on the run.
Supt Melita Worswick, operations manager at Lancashire Police, said: “Over the last few weeks proactive work from officers has resulted in a number of police pursuits, resulting in stolen vehicles being returned to owners, offenders arrested and equipment potentially planned to be used to commit crime being seized. This has no doubt prevented a number of people from becoming a victim of crime.
“We know many drivers have concerns about those using the road network to break the law and these results show we have taken robust action.
“Our message is clear; if you use our roads illegally or to commit crimes, you can expect a swift and firm police response."
Between Friday, April 15, and Thursday, April 21, 83 vehicles were seized under Section 99 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, which covers abandoned vehicles and the recovery of stolen cars.
52 were seized under Section 165a of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which means that police had ‘reasonable grounds to believe the driver was uninsured, or not driving in accordance with their licence’.
Five were seized Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002, which means police had ‘reasonable grounds to suspect the driver drove in an anti-social manner’, and six were seized in relation to ongoing criminal matters.
The Ford Fiesta, which had been reported as stolen from St Helens, along with a battery drill and pliers – which police said were likely to be used for burglaries – were recovered to be returned to its rightful owner.