A CRACKDOWN on motoring crime saw 42 vehicles pulled over on the A66 by Cleveland and Durham police officers.

The action was part of the national operation 'Mermaid' which seeks to rid the roads of unsafe vehicles and target those involved in scrap metal crime.

Durham and Cleveland traffic officers worked with agencies including the DVLA, HMRC and VOSA on Wednesday to set up the static check-point in a lay-by on the A66 at Long Newton between Darlington and Stockton.

Throughout the operation commercial vehicles, especially those containing scrap metal or other goods, were led under escort to the check site where the various agencies examined driver identification, tachograph records, licensing documents and the type of fuel being used.

Of the 42 vehicles pulled over, four were issued prohibition notices, six were of particular interest to the Environment Agency, four were highlighted by Trading Standards as needing further enquiries and two waste carriers without licences were identified.

Temporary sergeant Sam Turner, of the Cleveland and Durham joint specialist operations unit, was pleased with the results.

He said: "The operation has been successful; the inclement weather proved challenging.

“Four vehicles were found to have significant defects requiring prohibition notices.

“No arrests or vehicle seizures were made, but it is reassuring to see so few offences identified.

“Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit will continue to carry out these multi-agency operations to reduce road-related criminal activity and promote a safe environment for the road user."