Crushed: Met shows the way in £3m uninsured driver purge

Uninsured car seizures
28 Aug, 2014 7:00am Joe Finnerty

Met police account for 38,000 of 90,000 total cars seized in the UK last year

UK police seized nearly 90,000 cars from uninsured drivers in 2013, but nearly half the operations were carried out by the Metropolitan Police, Auto Express can reveal.

We have previously reported on the Met’s unique Operation Cubo, launched in 2011 to target uninsured drivers and raise extra cash for policing services. Now, our exclusive figures show just how far behind the rest of the UK is.

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An Auto Express Freedom of Information request to all 45 forces revealed 89,249 cars were seized nationally last year; the Met accounted for 38,142 of those. Since 2011, it’s also raised £1.8million from auctioning cars; other forces raised £1.2m between them.

Police seizures of uninsured cars: figures

Force Seizures in 2013
Metropolitan Police 38,142
West Yorkshire Police 5,724
Merseyside Police 3,038
Hertfordshire Police 2,947
Lancashire Police 2,915

A Met spokeswoman said: “Operation Cubo’s success has resulted in us being able to identify and share best practice. A number of forces have visited to learn about it, and have indicated a desire to replicate some of our good practices.”

The fine for driving without cover is £300 and six penalty points, but that’s still less than the AA’s average insurance premium of £531.24. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) said uninsured driving had been halved over the past decade, and that new powers of seizure had helped.

Neil Drane, head of database services at MIB, said it’s extending its helpline after a successful pilot to offer round-the-clock support to officers checking insurance details at the roadside. He told us how forces can close the gap to the Met, explaining: “More and more are coming to us wanting to run operations. We give guidance on how to get the most out of it and share results. The multi-agency effort is the main reason for its success.”

Metropolitan police seize their 100,000th car under Operation Cubo. Read the full story here...