Gazette reporter Sarah Howells joined the Ilfracombe Police town team as they crackdown on drink driving, seatbelts and using a mobile phone.

Ilfracombe Police crack down on motorists on Wednesday morning. Picture: Sarah HowellsIlfracombe Police crack down on motorists on Wednesday morning. Picture: Sarah Howells

Police stopped in excess of 20 drivers yesterday morning (Wednesday) during a crackdown on motoring offences.

Not wearing a seatbelt, mobile phone usage and drink driving were on the agenda as officers parked up at Hillsborough car park.

PC Dan Worby explained posters had been put up around the town before the operation to raise awareness.

He said: "We've told people we're going to be doing operations and this is about cracking down as well as educating people."

Ilfracombe Police crack down on motorists on Wednesday morning. Picture: Sarah HowellsIlfracombe Police crack down on motorists on Wednesday morning. Picture: Sarah Howells

And PC Andrew Burrell added: "It's not about figures, it's about stopping people killing themselves or other people."

Within the first hour, six people had already been stopped for not wearing seatbelts.

This offence can carry a £100 fine - the same as a speeding ticket.

In total during the three hour operation, 13 motorists were stopped for not wearing a seatbelt.

Ilfracombe Police crack down on motorists on Wednesday morning. Picture: Sarah HowellsIlfracombe Police crack down on motorists on Wednesday morning. Picture: Sarah Howells

Six people were caught speeding in excess of 40mph on the 30mph road, and two people were found to have no insurance.

No-one was caught on their mobile phone, but PC Worby said: "It's a small town and word that we're here will have travelled fast.

"I think the operation has been a success and I think we have certainly sent a message."

PCSO Karen Grant added: "A lot of people came up to me during the op saying they were really impressed to see us out doing this."

Police will be carrying out similar traffic operations during the Christmas period around North Devon.