Multi-agency operation in Bowdon to target waste crime and stolen caravans
Main article content
Cheshire Constabulary’s Rural Crime Team joined forces to target criminals in a day-long operation in Bowdon.
On Wednesday 4 August the team was joined at the Bowdon interchange off the A556 by the specialist Regional Commercial Vehicle Unit, the Motorcycle Unit, Special Constabulary, the DVSA, Environment Agency and HMRC to tackle waste crime and caravan thefts.
Everything from small commercial carriers to large HGVs were stopped to check if they were transporting waste, and if they had the necessary licences and paperwork to do so.
Those towing caravans were also stopped to make sure they were travelling safely and to check the caravan was not stolen.
The operation is in response to a rise in fly tipping and caravan thefts in and around the county.
On the day the teams stopped 42 vehicles including a low loader carrying plant equipment and a 3.5t van towing garden equipment. Officers fined 34 people for a number of offences including overweight vehicles, illegal tyres and one driving without a licence.
One person was arrested for drug driving, no licence and no insurance.
PC Peter Moss from Cheshire’s Rural Crime Team, said: “We’ve seen a rise in caravan thefts so have been working with neighbouring forces to identify and track stolen caravans resulting in a number of recent seizures. This operation is just part of our efforts to tackle the issue and make life difficult for thieves. Those who were stopped understood why we did so and were thankful that we were being so vigilant.
“We’ve also been working with colleagues in other agencies to tackle the fly tipping in rural areas which is causing a misery to residents and farmers alike.
“There are a number of unscrupulous people out there who say they have a license to get rid of waste but have no intention of doing things correctly, often charging bargain prices to get rid of your rubbish, only for it to end up in a farmers field or layby, which is a blight on the rural community.
“You can do your bit by making sure you use a legitimate waste removal company, don’t be tempted by the cheap prices – if the waste is tracked down to you, what started off as a bargain could end up as a hefty fine, even if you weren’t the one to dump the rubbish in that layby or field entrance.
“Today’s operation highlighted the fact we are working together to deter these types of crime and goes as a warning to those intent on flouting the law that we’re onto you.”
Sgt Matthew Picton from the North West Commercial Vehicle Unit said “Today we have conducted Operation Permits to tackle those who are using the regions roads to transport illegal waste. Sadly, far too many vehicles we stopped today had issues and a lot of fines were handed out. We want people who use our roads to do so safely and get to their destination without incident. Operations like this highlight the dangers that are out there. There is no excuse for those who put other in danger. We will be out every day enforcing these kind of offences.”
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, added: “I want to commend the work of Cheshire Police and the other organisations on this successful operation. I’m regularly hearing about the issues of fly tipping from residents across the county who are being impacted far too often by this behaviour.
“This week, the NFU published their Impact on our Communities – Rural Crime Report 2021 which showed the impact fly tipping and other crimes have on our rural communities. That report revealed that last year fly tipping reached ‘epidemic proportions as access to waste recycling centres was restricted by lockdown and unlicensed operators dumped large volumes of waste’. Operations like this today can act as a deterrent to those who are considering fly tipping as a way to earn a fast buck.”