Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Police Launch Blitz on Illegal Lorries

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Police Launch Blitz on Illegal Lorries

Article excerpt

Police swooped on Teesside lorries and wagons as part of a crackdown on people smuggling, drugs trafficking and faulty vehicles.

One illegal immigrant and a man wanted on a warrant, both Iranian, were collared as Cleveland Police launched Operation Mermaid in Middlesbrough yesterday.

Traffic cops patrolled roads in Middlesbrough and South Bank in the hunt for faulty vehicles which were then escorted back to a depot in Puddlers Road, South Bank.

Sniffer dogs and a team of traffic officers then carried out thorough checks for problems ranging from defective tyres to faulty hand brakes.

Operation Mermaid is part of a Europe-wide search on heavy vehicles to ensure they are roadworthy and their loads are safe.

Inspector Eric Robinson, head of road policing, said: "The two Iranian men were picked up with our automatic number plate recognition equipment.

"We have mobile patrols that are out on the roads and it's not just vehicle inspections, we are also checking for drugs, people smuggling and the illegal movement of livestock. …

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