When Mrs Linse produced her NFU Mutual certificate of insurance it was of effect until such time as NFU Mutual decided it wasn’t. It depends on the circumstances as to which section the police officer will use. 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. No comments so far - why not be the first? There are many documented instances where drivers have been left at the roadside because of S165A. Police stopped it and asked for evidence of insurance. Police Reform Act 2002 powers to search for and seize alcohol and tobacco. The costs of impounding the vehicle will be at least £150 and the daily storage rate £10 for a motorbike and at least £20 for any other type of vehicle. But this interpretation is perhaps undermined by the very similar provisions under section 165A of the Road Traffic Act. If it doesn't then Strasbourg will both consider whether the behaviour being addressed is essentially criminal and whether whatever penalty is imposed is in the nature of a criminal penalty. speedkermit, Speedkermit is right about these powers. Find out more about Police powers and PCSO powers on this page. It will firstly consider how the legal system of the country concerned labels it. Community support officers (CSOs) also have this power although unlike police officers they can't enter private premises to seize the vehicle (unless accompanying a police officer.). My concern is that this fee effectively amounts to an on-the-spot fine with no available recourse to the courts other than the possibility of instigating judicial review proceedings. Article 1 of the first protocol to the European convention guarantees the peaceful enjoyment of a person's property. Police can be very opinionated when it comes to insurance, frequently determining whether in their view insurance is valid or not. Under these circumstances, an officer has the legal power to; There are a few caveats however. Mrs Linse acted quickly. They were heavily criticised for doing this because when they did so the case was already before a High Court judge. The case focussed on the meaning of certain parts of the Road Traffic 1988 (Retention and Disposal of Seized Motor Vehicles) Regulations 2005. The officer took the keys and gave Mrs Linse a seizure notice which set out the steps that she would have to take to get the vehicle back. It is a constant source of difficulty for many drivers. 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. Speedkermit asks if the power under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 breaches article 6 of the European convention on human rights and whether any cases have been brought to challenge it. Under Section 165 Road Traffic Act 1988 there are several powers the police may use to seize vehicles. These aren't the only circumstances where vehicles can be seized. Enter a premises to gain access to a vehicle, Use reasonable force as and when necessary. Post it in our Liberty Clinic open thread. Her vehicle had been dismantled. Speedkermit would like to know if the Police Reform Act has the potential to breach your right to a fair trial. Mrs Linse quickly started judicial review proceedings to challenge this and she won. The proper analysis is that insurance law draws a distinction between policies which are “void” or “voidable”. 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. That said, there still has to be an argument that the procedure under section 59 breaches article 6. The notice apparently contained a warning that the steps had to be taken within 7 days or the vehicle could be sold or scrapped. In short, the Regulation entitled her to remove the vehicle from storage on production of a valid certificate of insurance and a valid driving licence. UK police have the powers to seize vehicles if they believe they are being used to cause alarm, distress or annoyance. Then there is the charge for release of the vehicle. It is Regulation 5 which applies in the circumstances faced by Mrs Linse. Police need to be much more careful and considered when making decisions on the validity of an insurance policy. 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. There are also powers under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 to immobilise, seize and dispose of vehicles that appear to be untaxed. What is being addressed here is clearly criminal behaviour. 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. She therefore went to a fresh insurer, NFU Mutual, and insured the vehicle with them. This additional element may lead the courts to conclude that this is a measure that is aimed at the prevention of offensive or anti-social behaviour, rather than the punishment of those guilty of offences.