Notes / Transport / Road Traffic Offences / 3A Use of vehicle in an anti-social manner

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3A Use of vehicle in an anti-social manner

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In England and Wales, a constable in uniform who has reasonable grounds for believing that a motor vehicle is being used (or has on a previous occasion been used) in a way which (Police Reform Act 2002, s.59)–

(a) contravenes ss.3 or 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (careless and inconsiderate driving, and prohibition of off-road driving); and

(b) is causing or is likely to cause alarm, distress, or annoyance to members of the public,

has the power to order the driver to stop driving, to seize and remove the vehicle (and enter premises, but not a dwelling house, in order to do so) and to use reasonable force to do so. Before seizing a vehicle he must, if practical, give a warning that he will seize it if the use is continued or repeated (unless a warning has already been given in the previous 12 months).

Failure to stop driving when ordered to do so is an offence (s.59(6)).

After a vehicle has been seized, the person who is, or appears to be the owner, must be given a notice stating where the vehicle was seized, where it is now being kept, and requiring him to claim it within 7 working days, after which it may be disposed of. The notice must also set out the charges payable by the owner to reclaim the vehicle. No charges are payable if at the time it was seized the vehicle was being used without the owner’s knowledge or consent and he could not reasonably have prevented its use. The charge is £150, plus £20 per day, with larger charges for larger vehicles or for vehicles which are not upright or are off the road (Police (Retention and Disposal of Motor Vehicles) Regulations 2002).

As to Scotland, see Other Legislation:Anti-Social Behaviour in Scotland, Vehicles used in manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance.

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