Operation Reclaim - Police Drive to Stop Uninsured Driving

New Met initiative Off roads Ealing's illegal cars

A Lamborghini, Porsche and Cherokee Jeep were amongst the 264 vehicles seized by Ealing Police in a new drive to clamp down on uninsured vehicles - ‘Operation Reclaim’.

It is the Met’s response to the amended Road Traffic Act, which gives police officers the power to seize uninsured vehicles, and those being driven other than in accordance with a licence.

Once seized, the vehicles are taken to an MPS secure vehicle compound where it costs the owner a £105 release fee and a £12 per day storage.

If the vehicle is not collected within 14 days of seizure it will be disposed of by the police.

From the 264 vehicles seized during October 2007, 32 vehicles have been crushed, 173 restored and a further 64 remain impounded.

On Tuesday 30th Oct 2007, Ealing Borough police conducted a high visibility operation as part of their ongoing commitment to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles and those being driven other than in accordance with a licence being driven across the borough.

The DVLA, Ealing Homes and Ealing Environmental Crime Team assisted Twenty Five (25) officers from Ealing Borough in targeting uninsured and abandoned vehicles in the Cleveland Ward Area.

More than 120 vehicles were stopped, resulting in five vehicles being seized for being uninsured/driven other than in accordance with a licence, nine vehicles being seized by the DVLA for being untaxed and one person arrested for Handling Stolen Goods and drugs offences.

The operation was run to celebrate a month of Operation Reclaim on Ealing borough. Similar operations will be held across the borough over the coming weeks and months. The scheme will be launched in Lewisham Borough in November and rolled out across the MPS in due course.

Community and Partnership Superintendent Ian Jenkins, Ealing borough Police, said, “We are delighted with the results achieved during the first month of Operation Reclaim. Legislation gives us the power to remove vehicles from the road in order to improve road safety and stop those individuals who are breaking the law. The many law-abiding citizens who ensure their vehicles are road worthy and are very supportive of this initiative that takes uninsured vehicles off the roads. We are aware that many offenders use their vehicles in the process of committing crime, and this scheme may deny them the use of the roads."

The driver of a vehicle seized by police will be reported for the offences detected either by the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice and penalty points or in certain cases summonsed to appear in court.

The penalty for driving without insurance will be a Fixed Penalty Ticket of £200 fine and 6 penalty points. The penalty for driving not in accordance with a licence will be Fixed Penalty Ticket of £60 and 3 Penalty Points.

If a summons is issued then the court will impose their own penalties, which in some circumstances may include a period of disqualification and financial penalties.

To collect a seized car the registered keeper or owner must: -
1.Make full payment
2.Produce a valid certificate of insurance covering his use of that vehicle and a valid licence authorising him/her to drive that vehicle; or
3.Nominate for this purpose a third person who produces a valid certificate of insurance covering that person’s use of that vehicle and a valid licence authorising that person to drive that vehicle.

November 2, 2007