Swoop first of new commissioner’s dedicated operations to tackle problem

Bernard Hogan-Howe

More than 300 uninsured vehicle were seized across London in a Metropolitan Police operation yesterday.

Around 1,000 Met officers took part in the operation, the first of a dedicated series ordered by recently appointed Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe to target uninsured drivers and those believed to be connected to crime

The operation also resulted in the arrest of 54 people for offences including possession of an offensive weapon, drugs, driving whilst disqualified, taking and driving away a motor vehicle and wanted on warrant.

The results included the recovery of a white Ford Transit lorry which had been reported stolen only minutes beforehand.

The vehicle was stopped by Traffic officers in Horseferry Road, SW1 vehicle just 37 minutes after its theft had been reported.

The vehicle was one of a number detected by roadside check points, using automatic number plate recognition, which were deployed at locations across the capital.  Officers also carried out routine number plate checks.

Hogan-Howe, who carried out similar operations to target uninsured vehicles when he was in charge of the Merseyside force, said: “We know from experience approximately 80 per cent of uninsured drivers are criminals. They’re also more likely to be involved in crashes and have unsafe cars so we’re taking this action to make London’s roads safer.

“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.”

To publicise the operation, the Met created a pile of crushed cars in Horse Guard’s Parade to demonstrate the consequences of being uninsured.