If your vehicle has been seized for this reason the driver should have received a RT6 seizure notice. The judge said, “in my judgement it is not conduct which may be expected on behalf of a Chief Constable of Police.”. The judge roundly criticised North Wales police for doing this and set a timetable for the hearing of her compensation claim. I have a question about the power to seize vehicles under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002, which can be exercised by both police officers and PCSOs. The guarantee applies both to civil proceedings and, in the words of the article, "the determination … of any criminal charge.". Mrs Linse acted quickly. Under Section 165 Road Traffic Act 1988 there are several powers the police may use to seize vehicles. While preventing joyriding and the countryside being torn up by vehicles driven off-road may be a legitimate purpose, it is seriously open to question whether there are sufficient safeguards against the abuse of these powers and whether charging for the return of vehicles, particularly where no offence has been committed, is proportionate. It depends on the circumstances as to which section the police officer will use. The case came to court because in October 2019 North Wales police seized a motorhome. There is no charge if the owner didn't permit and couldn't have prevented the use of the vehicle. She went back to the police station with the documents which again the officer decided were not valid. Technically you don’t legally have to have your insurance documents with you, so in normal circumstances most officers will allow you time to produce, but this isn’t always the case. She had to produce a valid certificate of insurance and driving licence at a nominated police station and to attend the recovery firm and pay all the costs of removal and storage. Similar logic was applied by the courts when they held that the procedure for applying for an ASBO was not a criminal procedure under Article 6. Under section 38 of the Police Reform Act 2002 (PRA), police community support officers (PCSOs) may be designated with the search powers set out in schedule 4 of the Act. Then there is the charge for release of the vehicle. It will firstly consider how the legal system of the country concerned labels it. Police can be very opinionated when it comes to insurance, frequently determining whether in their view insurance is valid or not. Under Section 165A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, police have the power to seize any vehicle where there is reasonable belief that the vehicle is being used without third party insurance cover or a driving licence for that class of vehicle. New Breath Test Devices Will Likely Convict More Motorists, Speed limits could rise to 60mph when less activity is taking place on motorway roadworks, Keep the right side of the law when driving in the snow, Police Powers of Vehicle Seizure and Disposal. In order to legally seize your vehicle, a police officer needs to be in uniform and additionally needs to have reasonable grounds to believe that the vehicle has in effect been used in a manner that amounts to undue care and attention or inconsiderate driving. Section 165A of the Road Traffic Act covers the seizing of vehicles for no insurance offences. Does this lack of due process amount to a breach of the article 6 right to a fair trial and has there ever been a legal challenge to the provisions? speedkermit, Speedkermit is right about these powers. What is being addressed here is clearly criminal behaviour. Mrs Linse had produced both but the officer decided that the convictions apparently recorded against her name rendered the policy, as he put it, “invalid”. She wanted her motorhome back, but whilst the court decided she was entitled to it, North Wales Police decided the vehicle should nonetheless be disposed of, and they sold it at auction. The proper analysis is that insurance law draws a distinction between policies which are “void” or “voidable”. Police need to be much more careful and considered when making decisions on the validity of an insurance policy. If the vehicle isn't claimed the police can dispose of it. If you take a chance by driving without car insurance, this can be the result. The police can seize a vehicle if they think it’s being used in a way that causes alarm, harassment or distress, for example careless or inconsiderate driving. The owner of a vehicle seized under section 165A has to pay the same charges to get his/her vehicle released but he/she will only get it back if he/she produces his/her driving licence and/or insurance certificate. Section 165 at the same Act provides that a person driving a vehicle on the road must produce a certificate of insurance when required to do so by a police constable. Enter a premises to gain access to a vehicle, Use reasonable force as and when necessary. Mrs Linse quickly started judicial review proceedings to challenge this and she won. When Mrs Linse produced her NFU Mutual certificate of insurance it was of effect until such time as NFU Mutual decided it wasn’t. Again the owner can recover the vehicle on payment of the same charges but only if they provide proof that they had the licence and/or insurance that the police officer thought they didn't have.

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