16 September 2011>
A multi-agency operation, which aimed to tackle illegal waste carriers in the Caerphilly area has been hailed a success after generating pleasing results.
Operation Stop, which took place in and around Caerphilly town centre last week, involved Gwent Police, Caerphilly County Borough Council's Trading Standards and Environmental Health teams, together with The Environment Agency, The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Department for Work and Pensions.
In total, twenty commercial vehicles were stopped, including flat-bed trucks and box vans. Of these vehicles, nine were taken for further inspection. The Operation generated the following results:
- The vehicles and the drivers and passengers were subject to PNC and warrant checks
- Gwent Police seized 2 vehicles for road traffic and other related offences
- The Department for Work and Pensions found one person to be claiming benefits
- Environmental Health gave seven people producer notices in respect of duty of care and waste related issues
- Trading Standards spoke to six individuals on the need to register as scrap metal merchants – one vehicle was also weighed to ensure it was compliant
- The Environment Agency found two people not to be registered as waste carrier, and advised them to get registered within the next ten days
- VOSA declared the immediate prohibition of two vehicles, the delayed prohibition of one vehicle and two further vehicles were given advisory notices
In addition, one driver made off from officers while found in the process of changing number plates on his vehicle. He then drove dangerously to avoid being stopped, and was found to have no insurance or a valid driving licence. He was later charged with these offences, plus a related theft offence.
Leading the operation for Gwent Police, PC Steve Dyer of Caerphilly Local Policing Unit said: "This was a very successful operation for Gwent Police and a range of agencies. By pooling our resources together into this piece of work it allowed us to clampdown heavily on the waste business within the Caerphilly area".
"Our aim is to have legal, roadworthy vehicles on the roads which are licensed correctly with operators disposing the waste responsibly. By conducting this operation we hope it illustrates that if you are caught driving or operating illegally, we will seize your vehicles and prosecute you."
Cllr Rob Gough, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said, "This was an extremely beneficial exercise, which clearly demonstrated the benefits of several agencies working together to detect and investigate those that drive and operate heavy goods vehicles illegally".
He continued, "This operation was beneficial to ensure the protection of road safety and the environment, and we will continue to work to ensure that nobody is put at risk by those vehicles who flout the law. I look forward to future joint operations of this nature".
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