Police officers across Hampshire seized more than 2,500 uninsured vehicles last year, as part of their commitment to safer roads.

Uninsured vehicles pose a significant risk to other road users. Anyone involved in a collision with someone who is not appropriately insured, could leave them significantly out of pocket for medical care, property repairs, or other support.

All police forces submit monthly vehicle seizure statistics to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), the UK body responsible for reducing levels of uninsured driving and compensating individuals involved in a collision with an uninsured driver or a driver who fails to stop.

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In 2022, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary seized 2,098 vehicles for driving without insurance. In 2023 this figure increased to 2,505, an increase of over 19 per cent.

Officers can use Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, built into police cars, to detect vehicles that do not have insurance. If a stopped driver is unable to provide any proof of insurance, the vehicle is seized.

Other consequences could include six penalty points on your licence, a fixed penalty of £300 or an unlimited fine should the case go to court, a fee to have your vehicle released and potentially being disqualified from driving.

Vehicles will only be released back to the owner once they have bought valid insurance, now at a premium due to their record of uninsured driving. Failure to comply with these conditions could result in it being crushed. 

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Head of the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit, Superintendent Colin Hudson, said: "In many cases, vehicles being deliberately driven without insurance are an indicator of other offences.

"For example, our roads policing teams will routinely stop vehicles for having no insurance and further uncover the driver has no licence, or the car is stolen, or there is evidence of crime, often serious in nature.

"The fantastic work our officers are doing in identifying and removing these vehicles from our roads will make them a safer place for all motorists and help keep communities safe by disrupting criminals using the roads." 

Law Enforcement Liaison Officer at MIB, Simon French, said: “We work closely with the police throughout the year, including our colleagues across Thames Valley, to get dangerous uninsured vehicles off the road.

“Tackling uninsured driving isn’t just about getting people to pay premiums. Data shows us that those who deliberately drive uninsured cause more frequent and, often, more catastrophic collisions too, so it’s about making roads safer and fairer for everyone. Our message is simple. Drive with adequate insurance, or you will be caught.”

From the 2,505 vehicles seized, 305 were identified as vehicles of interest to Operation Tutelage.

Of the 305 vehicles identified as vehicles of interest to Operation Tutelage, officers found the following offences: 

•         20 arrested for criminal offences 
•         47 arrested for impaired driving 
•         22 arrested for driving whilst disqualified 
•         219 other offences of no licence, no MOT or other construction and use offences

Running Operation Tutelage in the force meant that when those 305 vehicles were stopped, it led the police to discover an additional 308 offences over and above the original reason of the vehicle having no insurance.

More information about Operation Tutelage is available at hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/wsi/watch-schemes-initiatives