North West Motorway Police Group conducts Operation Coalition on the region’s motorway network

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North West Motorway Police Group conducts Operation Coalition on the region’s motorway network.


Officers from the North West Motorway Police Group target criminal’s travelling on the North West region’s motorway network.

Today, Wednesday 5th June a day of action drives home the message to all those travelling on the region’s motorways that officers from the North West Motorway Police Group will arrest anyone engaged in any criminal activity on the motorway network in the North West.

The North West Motorway Police Group brings together roads policing officers from Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire under a collaborative agreement to police together the whole of the regions motorway network.

The motorway network in the North West is responsible for linking most of the North West region’s major towns and cities and accounts for 22% of all motorways in England.  The North West motorways carry in excess of 350,000 vehicles per day and over 250 million tons of goods per year.

It is the responsibility of the officers who work for the North West Motorway Police Group not only to ensure this network of roads is kept running but also to make sure that those who use it are safe and criminals do not use the network to further their illegal activity.

The economic consequences of disruption to the network policed by the North West Motorway Police Group is huge as the network carries two thirds of all heavy freight traffic and a third of all road traffic.

Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie who is responsible for the North West Motorway Police Group explains:

“The role of the traditional traffic officer has changed considerably in recent years with the responsibility of not only enforcing road traffic legislation and responding to incidents but becoming intelligence led to deny criminals the use of the road network to conduct their criminal activity.”

“As people have become more mobile travelling the length and breadth of the region on the motorway network, it has become easier, not just for the law abiding citizen to use the motorway to go about their business, but the network also provides the criminal fraternity the ability to move from one area to another easily.”

“Criminals no longer limit their activity to the community down the road but often commit crime in one area then use the motorways  to quickly return back to where they live, believing they can evade police detection.”

“By working across the region, police forces can target and disrupt criminal’s lives stopping them as they travel from one Force area to the next, conducting their illegal business.  Members of the public often don’t see this side of road policing activity and can believe roads policing officers only role is to deal with motorway collisions but this is not the case.”

Superintendent Craig Thompson, who is responsible for the North West Motorway Police Group’s Operation Coalition on Wednesday June 5th comments:

“Operation Coalition is a great example of the wide range of knowledge and skills needed by all the officers who work for the North West Motorway Police Group.”

“Today, officers from the North West Motorway Police Group have encountered a wide range of different criminal activity during the day of action. This has included stopping a range of people whose vehicles failed to meet the required safety standards and posed a danger to other road users. A number of criminals using the network to transport either themselves or illegal goods such as drugs from one part of the region to another and numerous incidents of driving behaviour that gave real cause for concern.  Today has clearly demonstrated the diversity of activity undertaken North West Motorway Group officers.”

“The motorways are known to be the safest type of roads to travel on; however the life of a roads policing officer is very stressful and like today they have to be able to switch from dealing with one type of incident to another.”

“Caring for those who are injured or in shock following a collision, irate drivers held up in tailbacks, angry drivers who are stopped because their vehicles are illegal and a danger to other road users, and dealing with serious and organised crime gangs are all examples of what officers working on the network have encountered under today’s Operation.”

Everyone working for the North West Motorway Police Group from police and highways officers to call takers in the Regional Control Centre, have to be able to respond quickly to emerging incidents everyday on the motorway network.

The range of different and diverse incidents staff are required to deal with, requires dedication, professionalism, expert skills and knowledge to enable them to do what is required of them in a very challenging work environment which is the motorway network.

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