Police to crackdown on lorry smugglers

POLICE have launched a crackdown on crooks use lorries to smuggle illegal items into and out of the county.

Operation Hedgehunter aims to tackle the importation into the county of drugs, guns, illegal tobacco, dangerous fake alcohol and sometimes people.

Crime gangs running haulage firms are believed to be responsible for smuggling illegal items into the country hidden inside regular loads.

It aims to encourage people working in the haulage industry and members of the public to report on hauliers who are operating outside of the law and industry regulations.

The haulage industry in the UK has a turnover of £64 billion each year, operating 425,000 vehicles.

Police will be carrying out highly visible roadside examinations of heavy goods vehicles in the coming weeks.

PC Phil Badman, of Sussex Police, said: “The vast majority of lorry drivers are decent, law-abiding people who are simply trying to do their job and make a living legally.

“They are not able to compete on a level playing field because some of their rivals are using the proceeds from organised crime to expand their business unfairly,”