ROGUE traders were targeted by Gwent Police on Wednesday as part of the nationwide Operation Liberal.

Vans travelling along the A48 coast road were stopped by police and taken to a factory site near Newport where drivers’ identification and documents were checked.

Police said 49 vehicles were stopped and penalty notices were issued for speeding, possession of cannabis, using a mobile phone, having a bald tyre, and not displaying the correct registration plates.

Five drivers must produce their documents at a police station within seven days; five vehicles were seized for not having insurance; Newport City Council’s environmental officers gave out two cautions and two warnings were given to people by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Four officers patrolled the roads, while six police constables and four community support officers from Pill and Newport West were on site at Quinn’s Radiator factory.

Gulashfaq Khan, a selfemployed delivery driver working for the British Heart Foundation, is a legitimate driver who was stopped by the police.

He told the Argus: “I’m happy to take part, this is the law and you can’t mess with them. They have got my details nowand details about the van, so they will know I’m legitimate.”

Nicola Henson, crime and disorder reduction officer for Newport West, said Gwent officers worked with South Wales Police to cut off the A48, a route believed to be used by criminals.

“This morning one man was arrested for going equipped to siphon diesel from other vehicles,”

she said.

“The message soon disseminates within these circles that we are taking a positive approach and we are not going to tolerate it.

Action zones are set up

GWENT Police and five trading standards departments agreed to share intelligence about rogue traders and distraction burglars on October 1 when they signed a memorandum of understanding.

Gwent councils are setting up cold calling control zones where residents display a sticker in their window refusing cold-callers, and will get a quick response from police and trading standards if they are targeted by a rogue trader.

Steve Whitehouse, head of trading standards at Torfaen council, explained: “In Torfaen recently a 91-year-old woman was visited by workmen and paid £200 for work done in her home.

“Days later the men came back, gained entry to the property and stole her handbag.

“So we see that rogue trading and distraction burglaries are linked.”

Community councils and local members can tell trading standards where they think a zone should be set up.

There are now 67 zones across Gwent, expected to rise to 100 by the end of the financial year.