Police confiscated over 400 vehicles in one day last week during the first widespread pilot of a scheme using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to catch uninsured drivers.

Under new powers introduced in November police can now cross-reference information captured using number ANPR technology with the information contained on the motor insurance database (MID).

In a one-day pilot in the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, police took 417 vehicles off the road for failing to demonstrate they had up-to-date cover in place.

Neil Drane, head of MIIC operations at the Motor Insurers' Bureau, said: "The success of the pilot in one day really backs up police claims that ANPR will have a significant impact on the battle against uninsured drivers. We are delighted."

The scheme will be piloted in Sussex and Bedfordshire from next week and will go nationwide from February 2006.