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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Carlisle police raids in car clocking probe

Police raided a string of houses today as part of an investigation into an alleged car clocking scam.

Warrants were simultaneously executed at five homes in the west of Carlisle at 8am as an operation involving about 40 officers got underway.

Police squads were deployed to three neighbouring streets – Dowbeck Road, Stanhope Road and Finn Avenue – between Wigton Road and Dalston Road.

Raids were also launched at two houses in Newlaithes Avenue, Morton.

One man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and was set to be quizzed by police today.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Johnson, north Cumbria’s most senior detective, told the News & Star the basis of the probe. He said: “We are investigating a series of alleged frauds where individuals are suspected of buying high mileage cars, clocking them and selling purporting them to be of a lower mileage.”

DCI Johnson added “extremely high mileage” clocked cars could “pose a danger to other road users, not to mention unsuspecting purchasers who are buying a vehicle they believe has done a lot less miles than is actually the case”.

He said the alleged scam was suspected of being “very organised in its nature”.

The raids followed a 7am briefing at the force’s north Cumbrian headquarters on Carlisle’s Durranhill Industrial Estate.

A mix of uniformed officers, detectives and community support officers listened as DCI Johnson outlined the details of the operation – and bobbies were later split into teams to head out.

At Dowbeck Road a number of police vehicles carried officers to one of the houses involved in the inquiry.

They knocked on the door and warned they would force their way in if a person who came to the window did not open up. Officers were let in and carried out searches. A sniffer dog was seen entering the house.

At the same time warrants were being executed at the other houses.

DCI Johnson said the investigation had involved police working with Trading Standards, the Vehicle Operator Services Agency and HM Revenue and Customs.

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