NEARLY 9,000 vehicles have been seized by police across Staffordshire over the twelve months.
Vehicles were taken off the road for having no road tax or were discovered abandoned or used in crime or had been involved in road traffic collisions.
A total of 8,813 vehicles were removed in the 12 months up until the end of April and processed by the Force’s vehicle recovery Unit
The unit, based at police headquarters, in Stafford, liaises with the officer, the recovery operator and the owner of the vehicle to ensure that the vehicles are correctly identified, stored and released.
When a vehicle is seized by police, the DVLA registered keeper is sent a letter advising them of the seizure and its storage location and informing them of how to reclaim the vehicle and any associated recovery and storage costs.
More than 3,300 of the vehicles seized were not collected and resulted in them being disposed of – either sent to auction or scrapped, dependent on the value of the vehicle.
Money raised from auctions is held for up to 12 months from the vehicle’s seizure to allow the owner to claim it back, minus expenses incurred for storage. By the end of the 12 months, any money left is invested in roads policing projects.
Inspector Andrew Chapman, who heads up the Staffordshire Police vehicle recovery unit, said: “Our zero tolerance approach has seen our vehicle recovery unit do an incredible job in coordinating the disposal of so many vehicles.
“Insuring and taxing your vehicle has become a very simple process and price comparison websites can help you get a very good deal and save money.
“It is a legal requirement for any car that is driven on the road to have at least third-party insurance that covers your use of the vehicle, up-to-date vehicle tax and a current MOT certificate.”
In the 12 months leading up to 30 April Staffordshire Police have seized 3,267 vehicles for no insurance and 481 for having no tax. The remaining 5,065 vehicles were seized for various reasons such as road traffic collisions, identified as stolen, used in a crime or abandoned.
The legal obligations of drivers and riders can be found at https://www.gov.uk/legal-obligations-drivers-riders