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No Way Out for untaxed vehicles pledge Northern Constabulary

16th April 2008

You might think the problem of untaxed vehicles is a minor one and that car tax evaders are just trying to 'get one over' on the Government. The truth is, as well as costing taxpayers an estimated 79 million per year, the blight of untaxed vehicles is also linked to the more significant issues of crime and road safety. This is why Northern Constabulary are working with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to crack down on untaxed vehicles, making the Highlands and Island's roads safer for the whole community.

Earlier police operations have revealed that up to 70% of the occupants of untaxed vehicles are involved in other criminal activity. Through the targeting of untaxed vehicles, police officers around the UK have been able to make arrests for a variety of different offences, from supplying drugs to possession of offensive weapons. We believe our crack down on untaxed vehicles will help to prevent criminals from using the roads and aid the detection of crime in the Highlands and Islands.

We also want to warn other drivers on the roads that untaxed vehicles are less likely to be roadworthy, as drivers require a valid MOT (if applicable) as well as insurance, in order to tax their vehicles. It is estimated that 80% of untaxed vehicles have no insurance.

DVLA and Northern Constabulary are working in partnership to tackle untaxed vehicles across the county. They are identified from DVLA records and issued with a penalty. Those who think they can avoid this by failing to register their details with DVLA, or who refuse to pay the penalty, are also targeted through a national wheel clamping operation, which can result in the offenders' cars being clamped, impounded and crushed. We work closely with DVLA enforcement field officers to trace untaxed vehicles, conducting special operations with enforcement bodies. So, while they are tackling the tax evaders, we can find out whether those same offenders have been up to any other criminal activity.

The DVLA's wheelclamping contractor, NCP, uses a fleet of vans equipped with state-of-the-art Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology. This technology can check number plates against a list of untaxed vehicles in seconds. This action will make it harder than ever for car tax evaders to escape detection.

Inspector John Smith, head of the Force's Road Policing Section, said: "We continue to support our partners at the DVLA who work with us to assist in making the roads of the Highlands and Islands a safer place.

"The message from the DVLA is quite clear in that offenders will be caught and we will continue to support the agency to ensure those vehicles that pose a danger to other road users are taken off our roads."

Our message to persistent car and motorcycle tax evaders is clear. There is no way out and no chance to avoid detection. We know that persistent car tax evaders are likely to be the same criminals that cause misery in our community. We are determined to keep our roads safe and tacking car tax evaders is a key part of our strategy.

For more information on taxing your car go to www.direct.gov.uk/motoring

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