Police arrest 140 people in two weeks as plane brought in to help road operation



A two-week road policing operation across Staffordshire has led to 140 arrests.

The police plane was spotted out for six hours over the weekend and helped arrest 10 people across Stoke-on-Trent including nuisance bikers, thieves, and one for drug offences.

It was part of Operation Lightning – a major road safety crackdown – which has seen almost 1,400 cars stopped in a fortnight.

The operation began on 1 September and includes a focus on the ‘fatal four’ motoring offences that are major causes of death and serious injury on the roads – speeding, mobile phone use, drink and drug use and not wearing a seatbelt.

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Officers have dealt with a range of offences and to date there have been a total of 562 drivers reported for multiple vehicle offences, 375 for speed offences and a further 573 will receive advisory letters from our community speed watch partners. There have been 199 vehicle seizures for varying offences.

There have been 46 positive breath tests and 28 positive drug swipes.

Operation Lightning has been a joint initiative between the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership, Staffordshire Police and local community speedwatch teams.

Leading the team operationally, Chief Superintendent Elliott Sharrard-Williams, Head of the Operational Support Directorate, said: “We can already see that Operation Lightning is going from strength to strength and achieving great results.

“We’ve used a variety of tactics to assist us in cracking down on offenders using the road network. Operation Lightning runs throughout the year, but this intensification will help us to tackle criminality on our roads and work to prevent serious road traffic accidents, protecting local communities from harm and building on the crime decrease we have seen through the Covid pandemic.”

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The operation will run across the county for a further week.





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