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 Thursday, 23 January, 2003, 13:13 GMT
Crime gang's car joins police fleet
BMW Series 5
The car is now part of the police fleet
A silver BMW seized from a criminal gang has been put to use to transport police around the UK, in a money-saving move by officers in Carmarthenshire.

The diesel Series 5 saloon, which is worth more than 20,000, was impounded in a police raid in 2000.

It was decided that we could put the car to good use ourselves - it's a very nice car

Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson

After all efforts to find its owners failed, it has now become the latest recruit in the fight against crime in the Dyfed-Powys force area.

The car was originally seized by police using powers available to them under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

All that officers had to do was re-register the car with the DVLA for a token 55 fee, and get new number plates.

A spokesman for the force said the move made financial sense.

"This is all above board and has saved the taxpayer a considerable sum of money," he said.

"We tried to trace the legitimate owner but no one came forward to say the car was theirs.

"It was advertised in a local newspaper in Bristol, because the trail of the drugs ring led there," he added.

The only payment that was made was to the DVLA and that was a 55 re-registration fee

Graham Harries, Police authority treasurer

"It was decided that we could put the car to good use ourselves - it's a very nice car.

"At the moment it is allocated for use by senior officers and any other members of staff requiring such a vehicle.

"Because of the kind of car it is though, it is inappropriate for undercover work," he added.

Cost-effective

The executive car was officially acquired at a public meeting of the Dyfed-Powys Police Authority last September .

Chief Constable Terry Grange prepared a report saying the car was "suitable to be used for police purposes" and his decision was supported.

Graham Harries, the police authority's treasurer, explained that keeping the car was a cost-effective move.

"The car could have been put up for auction but it was decided to keep it for our own use," he said.

"The only payment that was made was to the DVLA and that was a 55 re-registration fee," he added.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed that police forces did have the power to use seized cars under the Proceeds of Crime Act.


More from south west Wales
See also:

08 Oct 02 | Wales
30 Dec 02 | Wales
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