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Immobilisation of Vehicles

Home Department written question – answered on 19th October 2010.

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Photo of Julian Huppert Julian Huppert Liberal Democrat, Cambridge

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will assess the merits of introducing legislative proposals for a right of appeal against seizure and removal of vehicles under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

holding answer 18 October 2010

We have no plans to introduce such a right. Section 59 enables the police to seize a vehicle they reasonably believe is being driven both carelessly or inconsiderately on-road or off-road without authority and in a way that causes or is likely to cause alarm, distress or annoyance. This power of seizure can only be used in carefully restricted circumstances and following a warning. A vehicle that has been seized must be released immediately on payment of a prescribed sum intended only to cover police costs and this payment is waived if the owner is not personally at fault. When introducing the legislation the then Minister formally declared it compatible with the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1988.

The remedy for any person who wishes to challenge the police's decision to seize their vehicle is an action in the county court for trespass to goods. It is also open to them, if they believe the police acted in any way improperly, to make a formal complaint against the police.

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Richard Taylor
Posted on 25 Nov 2010 3:09 pm (Report this annotation)

I believe this question was prompted by discussions at Cambridge's North Area Committee.

For more see:


Richard Taylor

Eve T
Posted on 19 May 2011 2:17 pm (Report this annotation)

What happened to innocent until proven guilty? A jury of one's peers?