Police arrest five and seize lorry-load of alcohol in road blitz

Thurrock Gazette: Police at Stonehouse Lane last Thursday Police at Stonehouse Lane last Thursday

A LORRY full of duty-free beer and 17 uninsured vehicles were seized during a police operation near the Dartford Crossing - plus five people were arrested.

Police were parked up in Stonehouse Lane, Purfleet, were checking on vehicles they believed may have come through the superport illegally.

The stopped lorry was carrying £150,000 worth of beer, which was later found to be duty-free.

Customs and Excise officers were called in and recovered £30,000 in revenue from the firm, who they haven’t named.

The operation also saw a lorry get clamped and its driver banned from driving for 72 hours because he had been driving for longer than legally allowed. He was given a £700 fine.

Commercial vehicle drivers are only supposed to drive 90 hours per fortnight - this driver was stopped because he had driven 95 hours in just 10 days.

The blitz, last Thursday, saw officers using the ANPR cameras which identified vehicles with no insurance or tax.

Fifty stops were made throughout the day and five arrests made - two men on suspicion of burglary and assault, two men for theft and another for motoring offences.

In reference to the lorry driver, PC Gary Winfield, from Essex Police’s commercial vehicle unit, said: “Some of the most tragic road traffic collisions which have seen loss of life over the years have been as a result of commercial vehicle drivers becoming tired from driving over their permitted hours.

“This is an extremely dangerous practice and leads to serious collisions that mean fatal loss of life and injuries.”

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