19 vehicles a day seized across Bradford

SPORTS CARS, limousines, buses and even ambulances were among nearly 7,000 vehicles seized by Bradford police last year – an average of 19 a day. And selling some of them off at auction netted GBP1.3 million for police funds and charities in the year to March 2019 A total of 6,931 vehicles were seized on the city’s roads in 2018 as part of a crackdown on uninsured and unlicensed drivers.

In the same period West Yorkshire Police as a whole auctioned 3,238 vehicles and scrapped 4,825 more. The figures were released by West Yorkshire Police in response to a Freedom of Information request. By far the largest category of vehicles seized was five-door saloons with 2,898 seized ahead of four-door saloons at 816, three-door saloons at 794 and estates at 646.

But the list also includes 140 coupes and 75 convertibles. Among the more unusual vehicle seizures were a pedal cycle, a three-wheeler car, two ambulances, a double-decker bus and a single-decker, a tractor, a breakdown truck, a digger and two fork-lift trucks. Hatchbacks (128), MPVs (217) and four-wheel-drives (40) were commonly seized while caravans (two), motor caravans (seven) and horse trailers (one) were rarer.

Motorbikes (280), scooters (61), mopeds (30), off-road bikes (25) and quad bikes (50) figured heavily in the list but there was also a child’s minibike and other minibikes (four) seized. One of the cars seized in 2018 was a white Rolls-Royce which was being driven without insurance. The car was shown in a tweet in April from PC Gemma Harman, an officer who worked in Bradford East.

When the T&A reported in June 2018 on how many cars police in Bradford have seized since 2013, the most common reason for vehicles being impounded was lack of insurance, with 9,350 cars being seized for that reason between 2013 and April 2018. The figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, showed the number of cars seized from uninsured drivers was rising, with 1,734 cars taken off the roads in 2015/16, 2,091 a year later and 2,214 in 2017/18. More than 7,000 of the 26,968 vehicles never returned to their owners after police ruled they should be scrapped, while 3,592 of them auctioned and re-homed.

The keys were taken from drivers if their vehicles are stolen, involved in crashes, are unlicensed or because they are dangerous. Almost 27,000 cars – more than 100 a week – had been seized from irresponsible drivers since 2013. Out of 91,601 cars seized across West Yorkshire, 26,968 of them were taken off motorists in Bradford.

Superintendent Daniel Greenwood, of Bradford District Police, said: “We are continuing to see the positive results of this partnership approach, which is improving the standards of driving by seizing uninsured or unlicensed vehicles and those that have been used anti-socially. “Over the past year alone, 69 proactive multi-agency operations have taken place in addition to the daily deployments which routinely take place. “This has seen 602 vehicles seized and 258 anti-social driving warnings issued across the Bradford District as well as 1,839 Traffic Offence reports, Summons and Fixed Penalty Notices that have been given out by officers.

“Although this is a positive measure of our success from an enforcement perspective, we know that it is equally important to change people’s attitudes towards driving in the process. “Although enforcement has been a big part of this operation, of equal importance has been the work we are doing with our partners to educate motorists in Bradford about the effects and consequences of nuisance and anti-social driving. As a partnership we are continuing to develop road safety resources and inputs.

“Likewise, we are continually gathering intelligence on offenders so we can focus on the areas where information suggest the problem is more prominent.

“The money raised from the seizure and sale of illegally driven vehicles is also contributing to frontline policing and the associated fees across West Yorkshire.

“This has generated a total of GBP1.3m between April 2018 and March 2019, a proportion of which goes towards the Police Property Act Fund, which is used for various charitable causes in the county.”

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