Cars to be crushed in police operation

DRIVERS of uninsured or unlicensed vehicles are likely to have them confiscated and crushed from today.

DRIVERS of uninsured or unlicensed vehicles are likely to have them confiscated and crushed from today.

Suffolk police have vowed to clamp down on those flouting driving regulations by seizing vehicles and not handing them back until the owner proves they have valid documents.

The campaign follows a successful pilot scheme held between January 30 and March 30, when 106 vehicles were seized across the county.

During the pilot scheme 54 drivers claimed their vehicles back by producing a valid insurance document or driving licence.

The remaining 57 vehicles were not claimed back and were subsequently crushed.

Ten people were arrested either because they were wanted on warrants or were disqualified drivers.

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Alex Morrison, roads policing and support Inspector said: “We are committed to tackling crime and reducing anti-social behaviour in Suffolk.

“The pilot scheme demonstrated that there are a significant number of offenders driving without documents who have no regard for the safety of others.

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

From today officers from Suffolk's Roads Policing Unit will be deployed around the county using an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) vehicle to detect any vehicles which are not insured, or vehicles where they believe the driver is unlicensed.

Insp Morrison added: “Research has shown that there is a clear link between criminality and offenders who commit vehicle document offences.

“It is difficult to say what impact the initial pilot scheme has had with regards to crime prevention but this legislation is a powerful means of disrupting criminal activity and denying criminals use of the road.”

Officers from the Roads Policing Unit were to begin their efforts in Ipswich today, seizing vehicles where necessary and taking them to a secure compound for release upon payment of a statutory fee and production of a valid insurance document or licence.