Warwickshire police find issues galore in safety crackdown

The stolen mini-digger found as part of Monday's leg of Operation Homberg. Photo: Warwickshire Police

WARWICKSHIRE Police unearthed a wide range of issues in its latest joint operation aimed at improving the safety of vehicles towing caravans, plant and equipment and heavy loads – as well as identifying potentially stolen items being hauled on the county’s motorways.

Operation Homberg took place on 6th June on the M6 at Corley North and Monday of this week, 3rd August, on the M40 South with officers from the Commercial Vehicle Unit and OPU working closely with Warwickshire Police Rural Crime Team, Highways England, NAVCIS and the Caravan and Camping Club.

During the two-day operation three stolen trailers were identified and a stolen Land Rover. Officers also seized a mini digger identified as stolen from Nottingham in 2014.

PS Shaun Bridle said “Operation Homberg was the first of our multi-agency operations on the motorway network following COVID restrictions being lifted and officers and partners achieved some significant results.”

Twelve vehicles were found to be overweight and the drivers received Traffic Offence Reports. The vehicles were prevented from continuing their journey until their weight was brought back down to a legal level.

Abnormal loads travelling on the road network were also checked, with two vehicles found to be contravening STGO (Special Types General Order) regulations.

One vehicle transporting a train carriage was not displaying STGO plates so was dealt with for being 42 Tons overweight, and another carrying quarry machinery again failed to display STGO plates, so was dealt with for being 35 Tons overweight. The load was also insecure due to perished straps.

Seven vehicles were identified with defective illegal tyres and TORs were issued to the drivers.

Officers also identified eight insecure loads and the vehicles were prohibited from continuing their journey until made safe. The drivers received TORs.

Two drivers were found not to have appropriate insurance, their vehicles were seized and drivers reported.

Three drivers were found driving with no driving licence – one of these was towing a caravan. All were reported and their vehicles seized.

Officers also carried out seven HGV driver hours checks and a number of HGV offences were identified with one HGV running with no tachograph to record the driver’s hours. Another HGV was found to be running without an operator’s licence, one HGV had no rear markers and another no rear plate.

Sgt Shaun Bridle of the commercial vehicle unit added: “During the operation advice was given to many drivers as we would rather educate drivers to help change behaviour and use enforcement as a last resort.

“There is a risk to the public every day due to drivers not complying with road safety laws. For example if you do not secure your load properly, it can shift causing injury to drivers, or fall into the road causing injury to other road users and pedestrians.

“Our aim is to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on Warwickshire’s roads and we will continue to target vehicles for these offences”.

  • 1jamessmith1

    a good article. The mini digger identified as stolen from Nottingham in 2014,the chances are that insurance has covered a replacement by now. I’d be interested to hear what the rightful owner says about it being recovered after 6 years