Transport for London (TfL) is launching a Freight Compliance Unit (FCU) in the next few months to become the central hub for all enforcement activity directed at non-compliant HGVs in the capital.
A vital component of the new unit will be a shared intelligence unit based in central London manned by staff comprising a Metropolitan Police officer, a DVSA intelligence officer and a TfL intelligence officer. It will also maintain a strong link to the City of London police force.
Rob Lowe from TfL’s on-street enforcement team, speaking at the FTA’s Managing Freight in London conference earlier this week (2 June), said: “The unit will be the point where information is shared between all partner agencies to ensure everyone has the full enforcement and compliance picture.
“This will allow us to ensure that enforcement activities become more disruptive to those who choose to be non-compliant, while allowing those operators that strive to be compliant to operate without any additional enforcement burden.”
The FCU will also assist the Office of the Traffic Commissioners by ensuring that any submissions they receive are evidenced from all agencies, providing a complete history of an operator’s compliance and helping them make a fully informed decision regarding O-licences.
Automatic number plate recognition technology will be used to much greater effect through the new intelligence unit, as Lowe said this is a “massively powerful tool that we haven’t used as well as we want to yet”.
This will enable the FCU to improve high level intelligence and analysis to help choose the best place to locate enforcement resources on the road; ensure the targeted vehicles are tracked and stopped effectively; and by providing assurance to the OTC that operators who have had their O-licences suspended or curtailed are operating within the restrictions set by the TC.
TfL commisioner Sir Peter Hendy first revealed news of the joint intelligence unit earlier this year, as part of a major targeted campaign against non-compliant operators.