Sussex police officers have begun to seize vehicles that are without motor car insurance or without proper licensing, sources say.
The seizures are a new development, as drivers could only have their cars taken from them by road policing officers if they were found with an invalid licence and discount car insurance. Di Roskilly, the Road Policing Unit of the Sussex Police’s chief inspector, said that these powers are a wonderful tool for police officers in order to provide more safety on the road by removing motorists who have little to no regard for the law. Drivers with no license or with a car that was not provided cover from one of many car insurance companies in the UK are a menace on the roads, said the chief inspector.
The process behind such a seizure, which has been trailed for quite a long time by the Road Policing Unit, is robust enough to make sure that only drivers who have committed specific offences will be subject to vehicle seizure. However, the Sussex Police has positioned themselves to be able to roll out this power to all of its uniformed personnel, which includes special constables.
As the impact made on an individual by taking away his or her car is quite a serious one, the Sussex Police is taking steps to ensure the power is used in a proportionate manner. Owners who show that they have the proper paperwork within 14 days of a seizure can reclaim their car after paying the proper fees, said the chief inspector, while those who cannot will have their car auctioned off or destroyed.
The idea behind granting these powers to all uniformed officers is to reduce the number of traffic collisions involving drivers without insurance or a valid licence.