Police forces from Wales to London team up in operation to tackle uninsured driving

Five police forces teamed up on Thursday (April 11) in a first of its kind operation targeting uninsured driving along the length of the M4 from London to Swansea.

Apr 12, 2024
By Paul Jacques

The initiative saw officers from South Wales, Gwent, Avon and Somerset, Wiltshire and Thames Valley work alongside the MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) to seize uninsured vehicles along the 170-mile stretch of M4 carriageways.

More than a quarter of the stops uncovered secondary offences, including stolen vehicles and drugs offences.

In total, 51 vehicles were seized, plus five arrests and seven prosecutions for other offences.

This was the first of a series of multi-force one-day operations across UK motorways, led by MIB, which supported the forces to enable the dedicated resourcing of additional officers, marked vehicles, ANPR cameras, control room operatives and intel staff.

Across the day, officers utilised a number of methods to identify uninsured drivers. This included:

  • Operation Tutelage markers, where cars passing ANPR cameras on previous occasions have been compared with data on the Motor Insurance Database (MID), a record of all active motor insurance policies run by MIB. Uninsured vehicles with an Operation Tutelage marker are then flagged to police and dealt with roadside; and
  • Using police intelligence and analysis to establish the whereabouts of uninsured vehicles.

To support each of the forces, which are the first to run an MIB-supported multi-force operation focusing on uninsured driving, MIB law enforcement liaison officers joined officers at the roadside. This provided a direct link to the MID and to the MIB Police Helpline, speeding up the process of confirming a vehicles insurance status.

“Taking dangerous uninsured vehicles off the road doesn’t just make them safer, it can help identify individuals of interest, stolen vehicles, and wider crime networks,” MIB said.

Superintendent Ryan Francis, from Gwent Police, said “We’re delighted to have MIB’s support, and to work with the other M4 services, in tackling an issue that reaches much further than what is seen on the surface.

“We know that through our efforts today, we’ll have stopped stolen and cloned vehicles, individuals with outstanding court warrants, and disqualified drivers, alongside identifying other traffic offences that pose a risk. This collaborative approach provides both focus and attention to a really serious problem in all areas of the UK.”

Superintendent Colin Hudson, head of roads policing for Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary, said “Regrettably, some individuals persist in driving without adequate insurance, putting innocent road users at risk. By using the intelligence insights and data from Operation Tutelage and MIB, we’ve successfully removed numerous hazardous vehicles from the roads during this operation.

“Undoubtedly, many of these vehicles will be taken out of commission, preventing the potential harm they could have inflicted if left unchecked. In addition, there is often an overlap in uninsured vehicles and criminal activity on the roads and this operation will contribute to disruption of those activities.”

Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner, National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for roads policing, said “Tackling the fatal four offences remains a daily priority for all police forces, but when initiatives such as ‘Operation M4’ are deployed onto our roads we can really see how working together saves lives.

“The M4 is an important strategic road and this operation will make a significant contribution to the NPCC’s ‘Fatal 4’ operation running throughout April.”

MIB is already in the process of exploring future collaborative operations on other major UK road networks, as part of its £5 million investment to reduce uninsured driving.

Martin Saunders, head of enforcement at MIB said “We know that all priorities are pressing for our police colleagues. Whilst we work with the police throughout the year, supporting forces in designating time to focus on uninsured driving allows this issue to be tackled head on in a targeted way.

“We know the benefits will be widely felt across all different areas of the force and the community, making the M4 and surrounding areas safer.

“These multi-force operations are just one more way, in a wider range of initiatives, in which we’re making sure that those flouting the law have nowhere to hide.”

Related News

Select Vacancies

Sergeants and Detective Sergeants

Metropolitan Police Service

Police Sergeant Transferee

Merseyside Police

Police Officer Transferee

Merseyside Police

Copyright © 2024 Police Professional