Special constables pull over 50 drivers in road safety operation

The Operation Chariot team in Hemel Hempstead
The Operation Chariot team in Hemel Hempstead

A road safety operation in Hemel Hempstead saw 50 drivers pulled over for offences including not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone at the wheel and having no road tax.

Dacorum’s special constables and the Joint Protective Services Police Intercept Team – officers who use the automatic number plate recognition technology – were out in force on Saturday, August 1 conducting Operation Chariot.

Alongside officers from the UK Boarder Agency, 15 special constables and two members of police staff monitored Maylands Avenue.

This was the first of many operations of its type which will now be held regularly in collaboration between police in Dacorum and the police interceptors of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

This technology provides valuable European-wide crime intelligence information and can identify if a car is stolen, whether the vehicles have valid insurance, tax and MOTs, or if they are displaying illegal or stolen number plates.

During the operation, hundreds of vehicles were scanned and 50 drivers were stopped for a variety of offences including not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone while driving and having no road tax.

Two vehicles were also seized for having no insurance.

Each driver who had committed an offence had their eye sight tested, were breathlysed and were given a Traffic Offence Report which can involve a fine, points on drivers’ licences or driver education courses.

Special Constable Andrew Lobel, one of the force’s volunteer police officers who led the Special Constabulary Intercept Team, said: “The biggest in-car cause of fatalities is motorists texting, tweeting and taking calls, and our efforts will continue to go some way to helping to educate motorists about the real risks of using their phone or not wearing a seat belt.

“We want everyone who uses the roads to be safe and legal and we intend to hold five further similar operations in the vicinity and keep up random checks such as this to ensure Dacorum’s roads are as safe as possible and that we deal appropriately with any motorists who flout road safety rules.”

All of the police and police staff who attended the operation were volunteers who gave up their spare time to volunteer as special constables or police civilian volunteers.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “Our special constables continue to make a valuable contribution to keeping the county’s roads safe – something which is of great importance to me.

“The free time our specials give up is invaluable and I hope their dedication will inspire others to also get involved in voluntary work such as this, which makes a tangible difference to the community.”