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2,500 uninsured cars seized by police

Staffordshire | News | Published:

The number of vehicles seized in a landmark crackdown on insurance dodgers has hit the 2,500 mark.

Cars Behind Bars was introduced across Staffordshire in May 2013.

Cars, vans, motorbikes, mopeds, lorries and even a tractor has been seized by Staffordshire Police in that time - enough to reach across Cannock Chase if lined up nose to tail.

Around a third of those vehicles have been scrapped, police say.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis, who introduced the campaign, said: "Although it was launched over a year ago, the crackdown on insurance dodgers remains far and away the most popular thing raised with me by people I've spoken to across Staffordshire and Stoke.

"Over 2,500 people have now had to learn their lesson the hard way thanks to tremendous work by officers from Staffordshire Police. Those who drive without insurance can't hide in Staffordshire.

"They are being caught and dealt with by having their vehicles seized and, in many cases, scrapped."

He added: "It's definitely struck a chord with law-abiding motorists who are hit by rising premiums because of these law-breakers.

"Why should all pay more because some people don't pay. It's clear that the message is hitting home as the number of insured motorists on Staffordshire and Stoke roads has risen significantly during the crackdown."

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Cars Behind Bars uses Staffordshire's extensive automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system that identifies those flouting the law.

Chief Superintendent Jon Drake, from Staffordshire Police, said: "Staffordshire has an extensive ANPR system which allows us to identify vehicles that are uninsured, as well as those that have no tax or suspected of being involved in other crimes.

"This is part of daily activities for officers who seek out and target those committing these offences. We often find that those who choose to drive on our roads without insurance are linked to other criminal offences such as theft and burglary."

The fixed penalty fine for people who are caught without insurance was increased nationally from £200 to £300 in August 2013.

Motorists also face their car being seized, could be summoned to court and be disqualified, and an endorsement of six penalty points.

Some of the vehicles seized since the campaign launched can be viewed at www.staffordshire.police.uk/carsbehindbars

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