Live updates

Police crackdown on smugglers

Drugs, guns and fake alcohol are among illegal contraband being smuggled into the North West from overseas hidden in lorries. To crackdown on haulage crimes, police have joined with the Border Force and customs officers to stop and search trucks in Cheshire.

They want to encourage people working in the industry to report on hauliers who are operating outside of the law. Our correspondent Andy Bonner has more.

Crack down on haulage smuggling

Routine search of haulage truck

Truck drivers and haulage companies involved in smuggling offences and organised crime across the North West are being targeted in a year-long crackdown.

Police search trucks across the Northwest

Drugs, guns, illegal tobacco, laundered fuel, and fake alcohol are among the items that are smuggled into the country, then brought into the region hidden in lorries.

The North West Regional Crime Unit, Titan, is leading the crackdown that has been called Operation Hedgehunter.

Police targeting all haulage trucks for random searches

Detective Chief Inspector Janet Hudson, said: "Almost all organised crime affecting the North West involves commodities like drugs, weapons or contraband crossing our borders illegally and end up fuelling crime on the streets of our communities and damaging people's lives.

"By targeting rogue elements within the haulage industry we are disrupting this supply chain, driving the criminal element out of trucking and firing a warning shot across their bows that we are going to be looking very closely at their business practices."