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130 cars seized by police in crime crackdown face the crusher
More than 100 cars, some high performance or luxury models, could be crushed after being seized from criminals by police.
The vehicles, including Audis and other high specification models, are suspected to be ‘pool’ cars which are passed between criminal gangs, police said last night.
They have been impounded as part of Operation Sabredale, a blitz against firearms and drugs, which started last year in the city.
In the latest two-week blitz in early February, more than 130 vehicles were confiscated when they were found to be unregistered, uninsured, or without tax or MoTs.
In addition, the raids resulted in 100 arrests as well as the seizure of 12 imitation guns and suspected drugs to a value of £1.3 million.
Police have warned that vehicles which are not later proved to be legally registered could end up on the scrap heap.
Bradford district Chief Inspector Dan Greenwood said that was an important tactic to disrupt the activity of offenders who use the ‘pool’ cars.
“One vehicle can potentially be used by a number of different individuals to commit crime within the district,” said Chief Insp Greenwood.
“Drugs and firearms offences for instance are often connected with the use of such vehicles.
“As they are unregistered, untaxed or uninsured, it can also be difficult to trace an owner. They are not only used as a tool in the commission of serious crime, but also present a significant risk to other road users.
“Alongside partners in the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), we seized dozens of illegally driven vehicles during the two weeks of Operation Sabredale.
“Those that remain unclaimed could potentially be crushed.”
Operation Sabredale has been singled out for praise by West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.
“The issue of uninsured and untaxed vehicles within the district has been raised with me on various occasions and I fully support the local police acting with other relevant agencies to address the problem in this way,” he said.
Bradford East MP David Ward said: “We all want to see crime rates fall in our community and I want to acknowledge the success of Operation Sabredale which has been a key tool in helping to reduce the number of serious offences committed in Bradford – the police have been going a great job in this area.
“Many people in Bradford face high insurance premiums and uninsured vehicles are a key factor in pushing up the price of car insurance in Bradford and so this crackdown will also contribute to my campaign to secure more affordable car insurance for people living in Bradford.”
Chief Insp Greenwood added: “If anyone has information about vehicles used in their community as ‘pool’ cars among criminals, I would ask that they get in touch on the non emergency number 101.
“Help us identify those who are using them and give us the location or details of the vehicle. Remember you call anonymously and in absolute confidence via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”