Wiltshire Police joins multi-force crackdown on uninsured drivers

By Barrie Hudson - 12 April 2024


Police forces from Wales to London - including Wiltshire's - have been collaborating in a new operation tackling uninsured driving.

The MIB (Motor Insurers' Bureau) initiative involves working alongside officers from Wiltshire, South Wales, Gwent, Avon and Somerset and Thames Valley, and has seen uninsured vehicles seized along 170 miles of the M4.

Officers say uninsured driving is, sadly, not a standalone issue, with over a quarter of the stops uncovering secondary offences, including vehicle theft and drug offences. 

This was the first of a series of multi-force one-day operations across UK motorways, led by MIB, the UK entity which exists to protect people from the devastation of uninsured and hit-and-run drivers. MIB 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 used a number of methods to identify uninsured drivers, including: 

- Operation Tutelage markers, where cars passing ANPR cameras on previous occasions have been compared to 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 at the roadside. 

- Using police intelligence and analysis to establish the whereabouts of uninsured vehicles.  

To support each of the forces, who 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. 

The MIB says taking dangerous uninsured vehicles off the road makes roads safer and can help to identify people of interest, stolen vehicles and wider crime networks. 

Supt Ryan Francis said: “We’re delighted to have MIBs 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.”  

Supt Colin Hudson 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.”  

MIB are already in the process of exploring future collaborative operations on other major UK road networks, as part of their £5m 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.” 


Your Comments

Be the first to comment on this article

Login or Register to post a comment on this article

Subscribe to The Link

Registered in England & Wales. No: 4513027, Positive Media Group, Old Bank House, 5 Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 4BJ