Page last updated at 09:15 GMT, Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Number of uninsured drivers rises

Tougher call on illegal drivers

The number of uninsured cars and drivers in London has seen a big jump, according to police figures.

Officers seized 14,133 cars between April and September under Operation Reclaim, which was launched in Hounslow in west London earlier this year.

In comparison, 14,520 uninsured cars were seized in the whole of 2007.

The crackdown follows an amendment of the Road Traffic Act which gave officers powers to seize and deal with uninsured vehicles and drivers.

Earlier police officers could only report such vehicles and drivers to traffic officers.

'Serious crime'

Sgt Stuart Buchan said: "In 2005, amendments were made under Socpa legislation to the Road Traffic Act, which gave officers in uniform powers to seize uninsured vehicles and those being driven other than in accordance with a licence.

"We launched a pilot programme in Hounslow which saw a 30% fall in crime, so we began rolling the operation out across the capital."

"There is a clear correlation between uninsured vehicles and serious crime, and around 70% of the cars we seize are associated with our known targets," he added.

The operation has been in force in 15 boroughs and will be rolled out to the rest of the city by April 2009.

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