Making our roads safer in Torfaen

We joined forces with partner agencies on Friday 6th December 2019 for the latest phase of Operation Utah.

Operation Utah is a multi-agency operation designed to identify and tackle those road users who put other motorists at risk by driving illegally or in vehicles not up to a safe standard . Operation Utah has been taking place for the last 15 years across Gwent and this time took place in Cwmbran.

During the course of the day, a large number of vehicles were brought into the car park next to Cwmbran Stadium from the surrounding roads by police officers.

Officers along with our Special Constabulary worked collaboratively with our partners from the HMRC, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Torfaen Licensing and Trading standards.

The operation was aided by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, both in police cars and on the roads, to identify potential offences.

Throughout the day, 70 vehicles were escorted onto the site to be examined. The results were as follows;

  • 21 Traffic offence reports were issued for offences including drivers using mobile phones, failing to wear seat belts, illegal tyres and for displaying registration plates not conforming to regulations.   
  • 1 driver found driving whilst disqualified
  • 5 drivers found without insurance
  • 10 vehicles were immediately prohibited by DVSA from leaving the site due to them not being roadworthy
  • 5 vehicles were seized for no insurance and 1 for no tax
  • 3 vehicles were found to be using ‘red diesel’ by HMRC, these vehicles were seized and the drivers given on the spot fines of £540

West Area Support Unit Inspector Wendy Keepin, who led the operation, said: "These operations are a real joint effort between a variety of different agencies, in an effort to make Torfaen roads as safe as possible.

“This operation helps to tackle those road users who drive recklessly and endanger other road users by driving vehicles with dangerous defects or by not adhering to safety regulations. I hope these results send out a clear message to anyone using our road in an unsafe way that this is not acceptable and when identified, they will be dealt with robustly. I would like to thank everyone that made this operation possible and we look forward to working together again on Operation Utah in the future."