HC Deb 18 November 2003 vol 413 c842W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions the police have used their new power to confiscate vehicles that persistently infringe road traffic regulations or are used off-road causing public annoyance in(a) Crosby and (b) England. [137824]

Caroline Flint

The new powers given to the police by the Police Reform Act 2002 relate to offences under sections three and 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Those offences cover driving on-road without due care and attention and driving off-road without authority. As from January 2003, where a vehicle committing one of these offences is being driven in such a way that it is causing or is likely to cause alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public, a constable in uniform is empowered to stop and seize it. Unless a warning has been given previously, the police are required where practical to warn the person before seizing the vehicle, so that its anti-social use can be stopped.

The new power came into effect at the start of the year and its effective use is being developed. Figures for the number of vehicles that have so far been seized under this legislation are not collected centrally. I understand, however, from the Merseyside Police that as at 10 November, 14 warnings had been issued and one vehicle had been seized in Crosby.