Vehicles caught in Hailsham with illegal red diesel

Red diesel check in Diplocks way, Hailsham
Red diesel check in Diplocks way, Hailsham
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Vehicles were confiscated by customs officers during a clampdown on the illegal use of red diesel.

Red diesel dip tests were carried out on 43 work and private vehicles in Hailsham on January 7.

More than £4,000 of contaminated fuel was seized following the checks on the Diplocks Industrial Estate.

Red diesel is only legal when used in unlicensed vehicles not used on public roads, tractors and mowing machines.

Wealden Police worked alongside HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).

Officers also issued six vehicles with prohibition notices because of serious defects to the machine.

Roadside prohibitions are issued by a police officer or an officer from VOSA. They are either for immediate or delayed prohibition, depending on how dangerous the vehicle is before the faults are fixed.

Wealden District Commander, chief inspector Dick Coates, said: “In targeting this type of offence we are removing dangerous and illegal vehicles from the roads of Wealden.

“Criminals also travel extensively across Wealden and by being out and about stopping vehicles, this also targets the travelling criminal and is an excellent way of disrupting/detecting criminal activities.

Similar operations are set to continue across Wealden throughout the year.

James Harwood, neighbourhood engagement officer for Sussex Police, said: “There was a mixture of cars and vans and a couple of larger lorries stopped.

“The vehicles get confiscated so HMRC can run further tests because it takes only a little bit of red diesel to show up.

“Then they have to ascertain if the vehicle is being run on red diesel.”