A suspected child sex offender and eight other criminals are among those arrested during an operation to tackle touring criminals on Nottinghamshire roads.
A major operation has been taking place to disrupt criminal activity using the road networks in Kirkby-in-Ashfield.
Among those captured during the action was a 21-year-old man arrested on suspicion of engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old at a house in Newark on 29 December 2020.
He was also arrested on suspicion of robbery after a man with learning difficulties was threatened and forced to withdraw £100 at a cash machine in Watnall Road, Hucknall at around 10.30am on 11 November.
The suspect was further arrested on suspicion of theft after two bottles of milk were taken from a shop in the same location on 14 November.
Acting on intelligence and working with departments throughout the force, Ashfield’s neighbourhood policing officers set to work together with their dedicated Reacher team and crews from Nottinghamshire’s roads policing unit and targeted areas that residents had reported concerns about.
Their activity led to them sighting an assault suspect in The Twitchell area of Sutton-in-Ashfield and arresting him following an incident in in the town on 23 April.
Other positive action during the operation, which began on 17 May, included a 30-year-old man arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon after a street fight in Eastgate, Worksop on 14 May and two men being arrested in connection to firearms possession.
During one of the incidents, officers stopped a car in Mansfield Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield which was showing as having no insurance. Four people were searched and a large amount of cash and a suspected dealer phone was found inside the vehicle. The men, aged 23, 28 and 34 and a 35-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and have since been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
The policing teams also worked with Ashfield District Council’s community protection officers who have recently obtained powers through the DVLA (Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency) to seize untaxed motor vehicles.
The event ran alongside Nottinghamshire Police’s national speeding and seatbelt operations and aimed to also improve road safety through fatal 4 action and education.
This also saw a man being arrested on suspicion of drug-driving after being drugs swiped at the roadside. A man was also arrested on suspicion of driving without insurance after refusing to give his details following a stop-check.
A total of 42 fines were issued for offences such as speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving. Officers also seized nine vehicles which were uninsured and untaxed and conducted five stop and searches at the roadside.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Paul Peatfield, who led the operation, said: “We are keen to utilise activity on our road network in order to catch suspected criminals in their tracks.
“The force’s ongoing efforts to support the national speeding and seatbelt operations seemed like the ideal opportunity to pool our resources and target offenders as they travel on our highways.
“As well as the arrests we made in connection with some really serious offences, we also stop-checked around 100 vehicles in total. It gave us the opportunity to speak to drivers and talk to them about the importance of road safety and things like vehicles being fit for purpose.
“We will always listen to our local community and act on their concerns. Criminals also need to be warned that they could get caught out on our roads at any time. We have a number of ways to track down vehicles and if they are travelling through without insurance, tax or MOT then they will probably find that they have been brought to our attention.
“Remember that there are undercover officers sitting in wait along with the highly intelligent ANPR (automated number plate recognition) technology which can oust potential criminals in an instant.
“We continue to welcome information from members of the public who may have information about someone they suspect is committing driving offences or using our road network to conduct criminality, please call us on 101.”
Cllr Helen Ann-Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: “The Council has been working closely with the Police on this operation to tackle ongoing concerns with road safety in Kirkby. The Council’s new Cubit Powers allow us to deal with abandoned and untaxed vehicles.
“As part of the operation our Community Protection Officers seized four vehicles, taking them off the streets meaning the owners will need to pay a fee to have them released. We will be using these powers across the District to deal with vehicles that are reported to us.
“We will continue to work closely with the Police to ensure we are making Ashfield a safe place to live, work and visit.”