This month MIB is celebrating 10 years of its Police Helpline service tackling uninsured driving in partnership with the police.
The Police Helpline took its first call from a police officer in Merseyside. The call related to an M-reg Fiat Punto which was seized for having no insurance. Since that first call, the helpline has taken 1.2 million enquiries from the police, with the helpline providing information to support the seizure of 375,000 uninsured vehicles.
The Police Helpline was formed by MIB to assist the police with enforcement legislation which came into effect in 2005, giving the police the power to seize uninsured vehicles. Officers call through to the helpline to check the insurance status of a vehicle when roadside with the driver. The information provided by MIB call handlers can lead to uninsured vehicles being immediately seized. MIB estimates that 40% of seized uninsured vehicles are subsequently crushed.
Since its formation in 2007, the service has grown from 12 staff taking 533 calls per week, working Monday to Friday, to 49 staff who are working full and part time, seven days a week, handling 2,300 calls from the police on a weekly basis. As well as checking the insurance status of a vehicle, the Police Helpline helps insurers and police tackle fraudulently obtained insurance policies. In addition to handling police enquiries, the MIB team takes an additional 600 calls from the public every week with queries about Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE).
Neil Drane, Head of Enforcement at MIB said: "Our Police Helpline service provides a way for the police and insurers to help combat uninsured driving. The service continues to evolve as we are always striving to ensure its relevance and effectiveness for those who use it. The continued success and growth of the service is testament to the hard work of our staff and the constant feedback from our partners across UK police forces and the insurance industry.”
Uninsured driving in numbers:
- In 10 years the Police Helpline has taken 1.2 million enquiries from the police resulting in the seizure of 375,000 uninsured vehicles.
- Since its formation in 2007 the service has grown from five staff taking 915 calls per week to 60 staff taking 2,300 calls per week.
- The number of vehicles seized with support from the Police Helpline, placed end to end, would cover 1,200 miles, the distance from Milton Keynes to Rome.
- Over the past 10 years the police have seized over 1.6 million vehicles for having none, or the incorrect insurance.
- 40% of vehicle seizures for no insurance result in the vehicle being crushed.
- Uninsured and hit and run drivers injure 29,000 people and kill 120 people in the UK every year.