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Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001


3.The Act is in four Parts:

  • Part 1, Regulation of Motor Salvage Operators: introduces powers to regulate the motor salvage industry and require motor salvage operators to register with local authorities, keep records and for the police to have right of entry to registered premises without warrant.

  • Part 2, Regulation of Registration Plate Suppliers:  requires number plate suppliers to register, to make suitable checks before selling a number plate and to keep records of transactions.

  • Part 3, Other Provisions Relating to Vehicle Crime: this Part:

    • enables a vehicle which has been written off by an insurance company to be required to have an identity check if the Driver and Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA) receives a request for it to be allowed back on the road. This will prevent the identity of stolen vehicles being disguised by that of other, legitimate, vehicles. It also provides a power to prescribe the form and manner in which information other than registration marks on number plates must appear;

    • amends the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 so as to enable scrap metal dealers disposing of motor vehicles to be obliged to notify the destruction to such persons as are specified (the main intended recipient of the notification being the DVLA);

    • includes a provision which will have the effect of allowing the police bulk access to a motor insurance industry database and thus enable them to identify more easily uninsured drivers;

    • includes a provision extending the time limit for bringing prosecutions for the offence of taking a mechanically propelled vehicle without authority. This enables proceedings for summary offences to be commenced (subject to a general time limit of three years) at any time within six months from the date on which sufficient evidence came to the knowledge of the prosecutor; and

    • enables the Secretary of State to make payments in respect of a public authority’s expenditure on the prevention and detection of speed and red light offences and any related enforcement action.

  • Part 4, Supplementary: this Part has a number of standard provisions relating to financial arrangements, consequential amendments and orders and regulations as a result of the Act.

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