London’s new police chief has ordered a blitz on uninsured drivers.
Police have seized more than 500 cars and arrested 66 motorists in the continuing operation that lets more than 1,000 officers target car crime.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe says the operation is not only aimed at uninsured drivers but at disrupting crime in the capital as around 80 per cent of uninsured drivers are involved in other offences.
A similar operation Hogan-Howe ran while in charge of Merseyside Police saw uninsured driving plunge by 40 per cent.
“Uninsured drivers are also more likely to be involved in crashes and have unsafe cars, so we’re taking this action to make London’s roads safer,” said the commissioner.
“This is the first of the operations I have asked for where officers across the Met will spend a dedicated day on a regular basis targeting uninsured drivers and those believed to be connected to crime.”
The London arrests were made for uninsured driving as well as other crimes like possessing drugs, carrying offensive weapons, disqualified driving and driving while wanted on an arrest warrant.
The operation also recovered a stolen lorry in Central London, just a few minutes after the driver reported the theft.
Other police found cannabis, cash and a knife in a car was searched in South London.
Police teams can instantly check whether vehicles are insured with roadside automatic number plate recognition equipment that has a direct link to the Motor Insurer’s Bureau database of insured vehicles.
Uninsured vehicles are stopped and impounded. Many are due for crushing while the drivers face six penalty points, fines of up to £200 and driving bans.
Car insurers claim uninsured drivers put up annual insurance costs for other drivers by £30 a year.
In 2010, the Metropolitan Police seized 34,000 vehicles and prosecuted thousands of people with no insurance.