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Uninsured drivers dealt a crushing blow

By raccars Published

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The Metropolitan Police Force's 'Operation Cubo', an initiative designed to bite down hard on uninsured drivers, has been so effective that the scheme is set to be extended. Operation Cubo gives the Met the power to seize and destroy uninsured vehicles.

The project was the brainchild of Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, and was launched in the October of 2011. Since then upwards of 14,000 cars have been seized under its aegis, while more than 35,000 vehicles have fallen to a joint project between Operations Reclaim and Cubo.

The scheme has been so successful that other police forces in the country have pricked their ears up, keen to take advantage of the methods and techniques used, by setting up their own seize and destroy operations, guided by the Met's experience. Three constabularies are now set to introduce the scheme in their areas.

Operation Cubo is a monthly expedition across London, aimed at specific target areas. The dates and locations of the raids are not revealed until the last minute, to avoid any leaks which might notify offenders and allow them to evade the operation. On site, a team of hundreds of officers stops hundreds of vehicles at checkpoints across the capital and can, on average, net 600 offending cars in one day. Number plate recognition technology identifies the cars, which are then taken away.

After seizure, the uninsured cars go to the pound, where three possible options await unclaimed examples: sale at auction, depending on what they're worth, being broken up and sold as parts, or being crushed. Any monies raised serve as revenue for the police - and apparently a pretty sum is involved. In fact, the Met has managed to generate some £5.5 million as a result of the tightening up on uninsured vehicle enforcement, which was used on front line police work from October 2011-November 2013.

It's not all old bangers that have fallen under Cubo's hammer either, with Aston Martins, Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Porsches, Range Rovers and Rolls-Royces having suffered seizure over the past year. In September 2012 an uninsured £200,000 Ferrari FF endured the humiliation of seizure in a Cubo raid in South Kensington and was later put on display outside New Scotland Yard. In addition, 1,000 arrests have been made, leading to charges including, apart from driving without insurance, drugs offences, rape, firearms possession and money laundering.

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