Thousands of uninsured vehicles seized

An average of more than 800 law-breakers a month were caught as the force took action against those illegally and unfairly taking to the road. 

Vehicles which are seized for not being insured can be crushed or sold off at auction if the owner doesn't provide the necessary documents to police within seven days.

Those caught driving without insurance face being hit with between six to eight points on their licence, a £300 fixed penalty notice or substantial fine if the matter is pursued through the courts. 

Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras help police spot uninsured drivers (stock image)Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras help police spot uninsured drivers (stock image)

In total there were 9,918 vehicle taken off the streets by WMP and Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) between March last year and this February.

Around £70,000 was raised through the auction of vehicles during this period - and cash generated is re-invested into initiatives such as the Active Citizens Fund.

The force has also tried to take pre-emptive action to avoid it getting as far as uninsured drivers getting behind the wheel - with warning letters sent to previous offenders re-iterating the consequences.

Superintendent Dean Hatton, Head of West Midlands Roads Policing, said: "It is not just illegal but completely unfair on other road users to drive without insurance.
"This is not something we take lightly and we are determined to stop those breaking the law; and protecting those who insure correctly but can be innocent victims."

The force works in partnership with other organisations such as the DVLA and Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) to crackdown on law-breakers.

To help catch uninsured drivers the force uses ANPR camera systems that scan 1,000s of number plates an hour to help officers identify vehicles being driven without cover. 

Each number plate image is fed into a computer system which can check the details of the vehicles against various databases, including the Police National Computer (PNC) and information held by the DVLA and MIB. 

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "I introduced police powers to seize and destroy uninsured vehicles as a transport minister back in 2004. This was in answer to the menace of uninsured drivers, who are often in untaxed and unsafe vehicles.

"I know that the vast majority of law-abiding motorists will welcome this continued action by West Midlands Police, as they are sick of paying the price for uninsured drivers."

Anyone with information on those suspected of driving without insurance is urged to contact police.