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Police seize vehicles from law breakers

PUBLISHED: 09:33 27 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:43 05 July 2010

SUFFOLK Police has seized 623 vehicles in the first four months of this year as part of an ongoing campaign to clamp down on drivers who are flouting the law and driving illegally.

SUFFOLK Police has seized 623 vehicles in the first four months of this year as part of an ongoing campaign to clamp down on drivers who are flouting the law and driving illegally.

Legislation under the Road Traffic Act 1988 gives police specific powers to immediately seize motor vehicles which are being used by uninsured drivers or drivers who do not have a valid driving licence.

A total of 585 of the vehicles seized have been due to the drivers having no insurance. In all 231 were for both offences of driving without insurance and without a valid driving licence. Forty-six people were arrested during this period.

Many seizures are made following checks using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology, which is fitted to many marked and unmarked police vehicles.

ANPR cameras in the police vehicles read the number plates of passing traffic and, via a link with the Police National Computer (PNC) database, automatically identify those vehicles that appear to have no insurance.

If the number plate is matched to one of the sources, the ANPR equipment will sound an alert.

Officers will then stop vehicles that sound the alert, for further investigation.

Once the vehicle has been seized it is taken to a secure compound for release upon production of a valid insurance document and licence. If not, the vehicle will be crushed after 14 days with 165 having been crushed between January 1 and April 30.

Roads policing and support inspector Alex Morrison said: “We are committed to tackling crime and reducing anti-social behaviour in Suffolk. This scheme aims to specifically target those people who drive without the appropriate legal documents with no regard for the safety of others.

“Not only are these motorists driving illegally but they often have vehicles that are not road worthy, which could become involved in collisions causing harm or worse to other law abiding motorists.

“Research has shown that there is a clear link between criminality and offenders who commit vehicle document offences. This enforcement campaign is a powerful means of disrupting criminal activity and denying criminals use of the road.”

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