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Heysham Port inspections to deter crime

Photo Neil Cross'Trailers at Heysham Port
Photo Neil Cross'Trailers at Heysham Port

A multi-agency operation has conducted inspections on cargo trailers passing through Heysham Port to disrupt and deter organised criminality.

Operation Mearness took place on Tuesday July 17 and involved representatives from a number of agencies including Lancaster City Council, Lancashire Police, the Environment Agency and The Marine and Coastguard Agency.

The aim was to build intelligence against criminals who may be using the port to engage in a range of activities including smuggling.

The inspections were also on the lookout for undeclared hazardous goods.

During the operation 93 unaccompanied trailers were stopped, containing products including meats, fish and animal feeds.

One trailer examined was deported back to Ireland by the Environment Agency as a result of incorrect documentation.

The operation was brought about to fit in with Operation Opson - an EU wide operation looking for counterfeit goods, and also to provide a physical presence inspecting goods.

Coun Andrew Warner, Cabinet member with responsibility for Health and Housing said: “It is important that we show a positive presence at both of our ports whilst inspecting vessels or checking cargos to ensure the products coming through are legitimate and safe for consumers.

“The ports around the UK are conduits for products entering and leaving, enabling commerce and businesses to flourish. The increase in freight trade since the completion of the link road has made Heysham one of the main arteries for freight into the UK.”

Howard Austin, Environment Agency Field Intelligence Officer, added: “We have had a successful day at Heysham Port working with partner agencies to inspect vehicles and trailers looking for possible illegal waste being transported from Northern Ireland. A visible presence at Heysham shows that we will disrupt and crack down on illegal waste activity.”