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MIB : supports Met in major crackdown

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After a major operation in London last week targeting uninsured drivers, the MIB has taken the highest number of calls to their dedicated police helpline since it has started in 2007. A total of 558 vehicles were seized and 76 arrests were made in London in one day.

1000 MPS officers were posted in a co-ordinated series of operations, targeting uninsured drivers, who are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, five times more likely to be involved in collisions and less likely to have vehicles in a road-worthy condition. Roadside check points using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) were used at number of locations in London, while officers actively pursued uninsured drivers using fixed cameras or routine number plate checks.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson launched the operation and used a pile of crushed cars to demonstrate the consequences of being uninsured.

Over 1000 calls were made by the police across the UK to MIB’s contact centre, of which more than 500 were made roadside from the Met. The Motor Insurance Database (MID) which holds records of over 36 million insurance policies, was instrumental in assisting MIB’s police helpline service with Operation Reclaim and identifying uninsured motorists.

Neil Drane, Head of Database Services at MIB said: “We were pleased to support the Met and other police forces across the country in tackling the menace of uninsured driving. At times it was a real challenge with the calls coming in to our contact centre but  Operation Reclaim is proof of the crucial role that the MID plays in assisting the police with on-road enforcement and keeping our roads safe. We are continually learning how to improve things and look forward to working with the Met and others to repeat this soon.

 “Combined with new legislation under the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) scheme, which is the systematic comparison of the DVLA registered keeper database and the MID to identify potentially uninsured vehicles – it means that there is nowhere to hide for uninsured motorists.”

Since the police have had the power to seize vehicles with no insurance since 2005, they have taken possession of approaching 900,000 uninsured vehicles. It is estimated that uninsured and untraced drivers kill 160 people and injure 23,000 every year. Uninsured driving also adds around £30 a year to every motorist’s insurance premium amounting to more than £500m a year in additional premiums.

Leader of the operation, Commander Steve Watson from the Metropolitan Police said: “It is our intention to really step up our levels of enforcement activity in respect of uninsured vehicles and last week’s operation was the first of many which are now being planned. Given that the vast majority of uninsured drivers are also habitual criminals, this is a really targeted way of bringing the police into contact with the type of person who will use vehicles for all manner of unlawful activity. As uninsured drivers are also five times more likely to be involved in collisions, there is also a really important road safety aspect to this type of initiative. I am particularly grateful to the MIB for their invaluable support in assisting the Met to make such an impact. We will be working together to coordinate our resources even more effectively for future operations.”

Source : MIB Press Release