A HUGELY successful campaign targeting dangerous drivers is being rolled out across the region.

Following on from its success at Northumbria Police, Operation Dragoon will target the criminal and anti-social use of the roads in the Cleveland and Durham area.

The clampdown – targets uninsured drivers, drink or drug drivers and banned drivers – will officially begin today on roads across both force areas.

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Chief Inspector Graham Milne, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU), said: “We are continuing to identify and deal with high risk drivers; including those driving dangerously, without insurance, driving whilst disqualified or under the influence of drink or drugs, who pose a serious risk to themselves and innocent drivers. Their thoughtless behaviour will not be tolerated.

"Targeting these criminals is part of our day to day work but we will now do this under the Operation Dragoon brand to promote what we do to keep our roads a safer place. We remain more committed than ever.”

The initiative came about following two fatal collisions in 2013. According to Northumbria Police, the incidents revealed the perpetrators shared certain characteristics including already having had words of advice from police, verbal warnings, and reports of bad driving

And since 2013 Northumbria Police has worked closely with partners from North East Ambulance Service, Northumberland Fire and Rescue and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue to raise the profile of the operation and deliver consistent key messages together.

During that time, hundreds of dangerous drivers have been taken off the roads, with more than 100 people appearing in court charged with a variety of motoring offences and dozens of vehicles being seized and crushed.

As a result of the campaign, the Northumbria force also arrested a number of criminals, including drug dealers and sex offenders.

Durham and Cleveland forces are encouraging people to keep an eye on their social media accounts and to follow #OpDragoon.