Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Saturday, 22 November 2008

Crackdown on uninsured vehicles

Number plate recognition camera
Special cameras are used to record vehicle number plates

An operation targeting uninsured drivers has begun Northumberland.

Operation Magnitude uses an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system to target cars illegally on the road.

The hi-tech system scans number plates and matches them against a database. Vehicles can then be intercepted by an officer on the ground.

Owners of seized vehicles must produce valid documents within seven days and pay a fee of 150 plus storage costs or their vehicles could be crushed.

During the first four days four cars were seized at the roadside in Bedlington, Blyth, Cramlington and Ashington.

Chief Inspector Simon Packham said: "Uninsured cars are used by criminals to commit crime.

"By taking them off the roads we can both cut crime and improve the safety of other road users."

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