Motorway cops become truckers to tackle freight crime
16 November 2012
MOTORWAY COPS will become truckers this winter as they step into their own HGV to deter freight crime.
Officers from the Central Motorway Police Group will again be using a heavy goods lorry, kitted out with specialist crime-fighting equipment, to monitor both suspected criminals on the hunt for lorry loads of bounty, as well as those drivers falling foul of the law.
The CMPG officers, whose daily challenges can been seen in the BBC series Motorway Cops, have gained a reputation for their innovative crime fighting techniques after acquiring the HGV two years ago, leading to great successes in reducing crime.
Chief Superintendent Martin Evans, Head of CMPG, said: "Once October is here we always start to focus our attention on the kind of crimes that are both affecting the HGV community, and those committed by lorry drivers.
"We are talking about offences as serious as robbery and assault where truckers fall victim, to those offences that are seen as more minor – such as driving whilst on a mobile phone – but can still have a devastating impact.
"Our HGV patrols the Midlands motorway network to catch drivers and criminals in the act with the aim of making the roads safer for all."
Whilst similar operations have been underway over the past couple of years, numerous suspects were arrested for serious offences. In addition, the reputation of the unit spread far and wide and rogue operators actively avoided the Midlands motorway network, so reducing the likelihood of serious collisions and serious crime.
"Our police lorry is completely unmarked and therefore the element of 'the unknown' will definitely play a part for drivers and robbers in the area," added CSupt Evans.
"Those thinking of targeting lorries parked up across the region simply will not know if their chosen target is an innocent driver and his load, or a fully kitted out police vehicle waiting to catch them in action.
"Equally lorry drivers thinking they can get away with using laptops, mobiles or driving carelessly could easily be being filmed by the CMPG lorry."
The techniques used by motorway officers to drive down seasonal lorry crime are similar to those employed by colleagues across the country as they crackdown on car thieves.
The truck will visit lorry parks, arterial routes, lay-bys, service stations and will patrol the 450 miles of motorway covered by CMPG.
CSupt Evans added: "The West Midlands is a popular overnight stop-off for drivers trying to make sure they do not exceed their daily mileage.
"But organised crime groups operate in this area, the same as many others across the country, targeting lorries and their loads.
"We believe the truck will add an element of the unknown to their high risk activities and will prove hugely beneficial in tackling those prepared to break the law, in whatever form."
Officers from the Central Motorway Police Group are liaising closely with the industry's security arm, Truckpol and as part of the operation they will be speaking to drivers as they stop at parks across the region to remind them of personal security.
The operation will last for several weeks and the vehicle may be seen on any of the Midlands motorways.