FIVE people were arrested and 12 vehicles were hauled off the road as the police responded to calls from the community asking them “to stop people using the town as a race track”.

Operation Goodwood saw the police out in force in Bridgwater last Thursday from 4pm to 10pm to combat dangerous drivers, stopping cars that weren't road-worthy and cracking down on anti-social behaviour.

Leigh Redman, deputy mayor of Bridgwater, told the Mercury: “For some time the town council has been receiving complaints of racing of Bridgwater, in particular anti-social behaviour and dangerous driving.

“The town council has been lobbying the police do to something about it. We want to stop people using the town as a race track.”

Police spent the day stopping drivers who were speeding, not wearing a seat-belt, on their mobile phone, or if their vehicle had possible illegal modifications.

Police brought the vehicles to a makeshift inspection area by Asda in Bridgwater for inspection by members of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).

12 vehicles that were prohibited for roadworthiness for having problems such as worn tyres, oil leak, or the car wasn't insured.

Police also made arrests for possession of a controlled substance, drink driving and theft.

PC Sam Iddon, who organised the operation, said: “The operation was a resounding success, educating drivers and reinforcing the police's commitment to community issues.

“The community have come to us saying that these issues concern them. We've gone out and been highly visible, stopping numerous cars, educating where possible and arresting others.”

Andy Pritchard, Neighbourhood Inspector for Sedgemoor, said: “The operation exceeded expectations. We are looking to do something like this again in the near future.

“Local policing is very much about working with the community and it's the community that sets out goals. This has been identified as a local problem and we were out to educate residents about the safe use of vehicles.”