Over 500 cars were seized by the Metropolitan Police yesterday in an operation targeting uninsured drivers.
Operation Reclaim used 1,000 police officers and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to identify cars being driven without insurance. The Met believes that driving uninsured is more likely to be indicative of involvement in other crimes, a belief which netted them 66 arrests for a variety of offences including possession of a knives and drugs, and driving while disqualified.
Uninsured vehicles are impounded and if the driver can’t produce an insurance certificate and a valid driving licence during that time, the car is crushed. The driver is also issued with a £200 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). A display of previously crushed and seized vehicles was on display at Horse Guards yesterday. Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said:
‘Driving without insurance is an offence and this operation will seize the cars of those who ignore the law, while reclaiming the roads for London's responsible and law abiding drivers.’
The rising cost of car insurance has also been cited as one of the reasons for the greater number of uninsured drivers – the Office of Fair Trading has recently launched an investigation to find out if motorists are getting a fair deal.
See the Met's very own Flickr pool showing pictures of the operation.