Ten drivers had their vehicles seized on Wednesday, 17 August in a joint Sutton and Merton Safer Transport police team operation to crackdown on uninsured drivers – and other driving offences.

Officers were monitoring automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and staffing roadside checkpoints in the operation which covered both Sutton and Mitcham town centres between 08:00-22:00hrs.

Of the ten drivers who had their vehicles seized for having no insurance, one driver in Mitcham was arrested for driving not in accordance with a licence, having no insurance and for being in possession of a 2ft long machete and a lock-knife. The man, aged 42, was taken to a South London police station. He was bailed to return in early September pending further enquiries.

A further 18 drivers were also reported for other driving offences including driving whilst using a hand-held phone, not wearing a seatbelt and not having an MOT.

Inspector Joanne Flynn, who runs Sutton and Merton’s Safer Transport Teams, said these operations will continue until drivers get the message that they will be caught if they flout the law. “Residents tell us that they want action to keep our roads safe and that is exactly what we are doing with these regular operations.”

Traffic operations help to disrupt criminal activities because there is a proven link between motoring offences and other types of crime.

Drivers who had their vehicles seized for no insurance, face a £300 fine, six points on the licence and the additional costs of recovering their vehicle from the police car pound once they have obtained the correct insurance. It has been estimated that the tiny minority of uninsured drivers are estimated to add £50 to the insurance premium of insured drivers.

The drivers stopped for the other motoring offences will have their cases investigated. This could result in a requirement to attend a driver awareness course or for the most serious cases, being summonsed to Court where they could face being fined and/or disqualified from driving.

Further operations are planned. Their precise locations are not being disclosed for operational reasons.