Police launch M11 operation

ESSEX Police and its partner agencies launched a major operation on the M11 today (Wednesday) to reduce serious road crashes and to catch travelling criminals. Using marked and unmarked vehicles, road policing officers from Dunmow and Chigwell led Operati

ESSEX Police and its partner agencies launched a major operation on the M11 today (Wednesday) to reduce serious road crashes and to catch travelling criminals.

Using marked and unmarked vehicles, road policing officers from Dunmow and Chigwell led Operation Minstrel, which is primarily geared to improving driving standards and road safety on the 40-mile stretch of motorway through the county.

Specific offences that officers are targeting include using a mobile phone while driving, speeding, defective vehicles, careless and inconsiderate driving, as well as goods vehicle offences.

Officers are patrolling the motorway for 24 hours and will be using Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras to watch suspect drivers and vehicles.


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Extra patrols are to be carried out by the Highways Agency, whose traffic officers help deal with incidents from broken-down cars to multi-vehicle collisions. In addition, road users will be encouraged to drive safely by messages such as 'Think Don't Phone Whilst Driving' that will be displayed on roadside signs by the Highway Agency's National Traffic Control Centre in Birmingham.

On certain days during Operation Minstrel any vehicles or drivers requiring further investigation will be escorted to a site at Junction 7 where officials from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), HM Revenue and Customs and HM Work and Pensions can start enquiries.

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Sgt Dan Barber of Chigwell Road Policing Unit said: "The message is clear, if you choose to disregard road traffic law which is in place to improve road safety and prevent collisions, or choose to use Essex roads to travel to commit crime, you can expect to be caught and prosecuted.

"The law abiding general public have nothing to fear and can expect improved road safety and reduced criminality as a result."

Operation Minstrel will target the M11 for two weeks before moving on to other parts of West Essex.

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