60 Cars Seized

During the first two months of Operation Andover, 62 vehicles have been seized by officers for not being registered with the DVLA and for having been in the UK for longer than 6 months in a 12-month period.

Officers have spotted more than 294 foreign vehicles since the beginning of the year and have seized 62 since the beginning of February, averaging at one a day. Of these 294 vehicles, 147 can be seized straight away if they are spotted again, as they are known to have been in the country for more than 6 months.

Of the 62 vehicles seized to date, 39 have been collected, 12 have been scrapped and the remaining 10 are still pending.

Known criminals were using 10 per cent of the vehicles seized – three have been used in criminal activities in Northamptonshire in the last three months.

Officers are using a number of tactics to establish the length of time a foreign registered car has been in the country and once they know the vehicle has been in the UK for more than 6 months they will stop the driver and seize it.

The owner then has 14 days to register the vehicle with the DVLA, otherwise the vehicle faces being destroyed.

Three of the seized vehicles have now been registered with the DVLA.

PC David Lee, from the Operations Tactical Unit, who is leading the Operation, said: “Vehicles not registered with the DVLA are not traceable, so there is no way of checking if they are roadworthy, and it also makes life easy for people who want to commit crime as there is no way of tracing them.

“During 2008 across Northamptonshire there were more than 2,000 safety camera activations recorded for foreign vehicles that were unable to be pursued because the vehicle was not registered with the DVLA.

“These vehicles included HGVs, cars, vans and coaches, all of which could well have been unfit to be on the road, but there is no way of tracing them to find out. That is why this work is so important, it is about making sure the vehicles using our roads are safe.

“The onus is on the owner to make sure their vehicle is registered with the DVLA. Once a vehicle has been in the UK for more than six months, or the owner becomes a UK resident, it must be taxed, insured and go through an MOT if it is older than 3 years. If a car is not registered there is no way of finding out if it has been through an MOT and so potentially there are cars out on the road that are not roadworthy.”

The policy applies to any vehicles that have been in the UK for six months, whether that be spread over the course of 12 months or in one six month block.

The public can also play their part in tackling this issue. If they believe they know of a foreign national vehicle that has been in residence in the UK longer than six months and has not been registered with the DVLA, they are urged them to contact our Drivewatch hotline 0800 174615 or e-mail opandover@northants.police.uk

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