More than 2,000 vehicles seized

A POLICE operation to clamp down on drivers flouting the law has hit a landmark after more than 2000 vehicles were seized.

Anthony Bond

A POLICE operation to clamp down on drivers flouting the law has hit a landmark after more than 2000 vehicles were seized.

Operation Admiral was put in place by Suffolk police in 2006 with the aim to seize illegally driven vehicles.

In total the operation seized 2027 vehicles in 2008 and 67 of those vehicles were crushed.

About 1161 vehicles were seized due to the driver not having insurance, 157 due to driving licence offences and 709 were seized for both offences of driving without insurance and without a valid driving licence.

Police have powers to immediately seize motor vehicles which are being used by uninsured drivers or drivers who do not have a valid driving licence.

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Many of the seizures are made thanks to the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology.

ANPR cameras in 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.

Chief Constable Simon Ash said: “This is an example of how ANPR technology has become a key policing tool. It is unique in its ability to impact on crime at every level, from traffic offences to large-scale police investigations. I am delighted that this particular operation is proving to be successful and I believe it is of enormous benefit to the police and to the law-abiding citizens of Suffolk. Our aim is to deny criminals the use of the roads and in turn make Suffolk a safer place to live.”

Once a vehicle is seized it is taken to a secure compound where it is held until the production of a valid insurance document and license. There is a �150 charge to free the vehicle and �20 per day for everyday it is not collected. After 14 days, if the vehicle is not collected, it is then crushed.