Global progressive policing

Meeting Suffolk’s Commercial Vehicle Unit: A look at Op Tramline and some strange encounters

Inside Suffolk Constabulary

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As part of a week’s filming for PolicingTV with Suffolk Constabulary, officers from the force’s Commercial Vehicle Unit met PolicingTV’s Founder and Publisher, Bernard Rix, starting at the team’s Bury St Edmunds base, and then on patrol on the busy A14 dual carriageway in the county.

PC Terry Harvey, who chairs the national Carriage of Dangerous Goods Practitioners’ Forum, starts by briefing us on the background to, and the work of, the Commercial Vehicle Unit. “Our main role is looking at drivers’ hours, tachograph, on HGVs. We also look at dangerous goods being carried on vehicles. We weigh axles… to see if they’re overweight. We look at load security… abnormal load movements… we check taxis, private hire licensing… the list is quite extensive”.

“Today we’re running Operation Tramline, which is a national operation using an unmarked lorry. The aim of that is to look at HGVs, drivers not wearing seat belts, using mobile phones, any other offences we find. But it’s also a good vantage point looking in to cars… The lorry carries on, then we have stopping officers who will pull the vehicles over as vehicles are identified”.

Bernard then accompanies PC Toni Horsley and PC Ryan Harris in the unmarked lorry, as they run the operation. In addition to giving us more details of the work they do, they tell us about some strange situations they’ve encountered in their work. What are these? You’ll need to watch to find out!

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