Police target illegal goods in North-East ports

Posted on 31st January 2013 By Steve Clark

Police in the North East have been visiting truck stops and speaking to LGV drivers this week, to gather evidence against organised crime gangs relying on ports.

Cleveland and North Yorkshire police said they also want to alert drivers to what they should look out for and do if they are approached to carry illegal goods.

They hope that by creating a forum in which professional drivers can pass on any bits of information that they see or hear they can crack down on gangs smuggling drugs, people and contraband.

The initiative is being rolled out in conjunction with PD Ports under ‘Project Yali’, and follows a similar scheme in the Humberside region.

“Their vigilance is vital in ensuring we stop this type of crime,” said Detective Sergeant Ged Barron from Cleveland Police. “What they may see as an innocuous piece of information may in fact form a part of a much bigger picture.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Best added: “I know the vast majority of those involved in the transportation of goods around the UK are law abiding people who have a vested interest in keeping our transport hubs and links safe. It is for those reasons I am confident that they will assist our officers to make sure this operation is a success.”

Humberside Police says it spoke to 250 drivers in the 10 days following the launch of its project and it is now working with the trade associations to promote Yali using their social media networks.