Police are planning to step up the battle against pollution by training all beat officers and traffic wardens to spot smoky vehicles. At present about 1,000 regional traffic officers are trained to spot smoky vehicles and conduct operations against excessive emissions. Traffic branch Chief Superintendent Tang How-kong said: 'We are discussing the training programme with the Environmental Protection Department and we are hoping to train all 300 traffic wardens to become spotters. Our next step will be to train all beat officers.' Mr Tang said the department planned to train some officers as instructors who in turn would teach colleagues. He said the 300 traffic wardens could complete training within two or three months, with beat officers trained in about six months. Officers who spot a smoky vehicle will take down the licence number and report it to the department, which will issue a notice requiring the vehicle to pass an emission test within 14 days. Mr Tang said the branch was also planning to expand the anti-smoky vehicle operation from regional to district levels. It would allow police to conduct more joint operations with environmental protection and Customs officers by intercepting cars at road blocks to check engine emissions and use of illicit fuel. Between last June and March, 23 joint anti-smoke operations were conducted with 5,167 fines and 282 summonses issued. A total of 15,525 smoky vehicles were reported in the period. The department, which has a team overseeing vehicle emissions, is aided by 1,700 volunteers. Twenty-three minibuses were found to be emitting excessive smoke and two drivers were caught speeding during an 18-hour police operation in New Territories North, which ended yesterday.