Wiltshire police issue £17k in fines after M4 crackdown

This Is Wiltshire: Operation Merlot 2 has made the M4 a safer place, say police Operation Merlot 2 has made the M4 a safer place, say police

Criminals operating via the M4 have been targeted by HM Revenue and Customs in conjunction with Wiltshire Police in an operation code-named Operation Merlot 2.

The activity focused on motoring offences and excise fraud and resulted in the issue of £17,100 worth of fines to law breakers. The operation ran from Monday to Wednesday this week.

In addition:

• Two vans containing non-duty paid beer, wine and spirits were seized by HMRC. The unpaid duty on the seized alcohol is estimated at £5,000.

• 30 vehicles were issued fines due to being dangerously overweight and putting other road users at risk

• 77 fixed penalty notices were issued to drivers after breaches of the Road Traffic Act.

Police Sergeant Craig Hardy, from Wiltshire Police Road Policing Unit, said: “Working with our partners we have been able to have a significant impact on drivers who are breaking the law.

"We have issued £17,100 worth of fines and made the section of the M4 running through Wiltshire a safer place for law-abiding drivers.

"These operations with HMRC continue to be successful and deliver significant results that can only serve as a reminder to those who drive on the M4 to make sure they operate within the law.”

Colin Spinks, HMRC assistant director criminal investigation, said: “This pre-Christmas blitz has been a success for HMRC and our law enforcement partners. Together we have prevented non-duty paid alcohol from reaching the West’s streets.

“Alcohol fraud alone costs the UK Government around £1.2 billion a year. Anyone with information about this type of crime should contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

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