By Bob Croxton (Criminal Information Bureau)
Insurance is the most boring subject in the world and in all honesty do we really need it? Well the answer is yes, I cannot strongly emphasize the importance of insurance, especially car insurance enough. The UK police and the MIB, Motor Insurance Bureau, and the DVLA now all work together in tandem to tackle car related crime such as car insurance. Gone are the days when a police officer would pull you over and you could tell him that your insurance was is in the post, and then he would give you a ticket and tell you that you have 7 days to produce your documents. And in all honesty if you new the right people you could produce blag or falsify insurance, driving licences and MOTs etc.
But with modern day technology everything now is run through a central computer database and in a matter of minutes the police, through number plate recognition, can tell “YOU” if you are insured, if your car has a genuine MOT and tax disc and you are a vehicle license holder. So in all fairness it really does not pay to drive a car without proper insurance and relevant documentation. Also the police and relevant authorities know that certain individuals use their vehicles for illegal activities, commonly known as graft.
On Merseyside for example the police have been coordinating and directing, targeted police check points in order to stop illegal activities taking place across Merseyside. Every car that went through the check points were subjected to number plate recognition and suspicious cars were pulled to one side and searched. Merseyside police said that they had put a ring of steel around the region and had caught hundreds of motorist breaking the law in areas such as: no insurance, tax, MOT’s, people carrying drugs, firearms and dangerous weapons, quantities of cash seized and other illegal activities stopped. Since the first targeted attack like this Merseyside police have now initiated a number of stop and searches and have said that this will now become routine.
But it is not just about police stop and search tactics, only recently one of our registered members a guy called “Russell” (name changed) was released from prison on tag or HDC and applied for a job at a call centre. After a number of interviews Russell got the job but instead of getting the train to work, because he had no license and was banned from driving, Russell decided that he would drive. Like most things when you are released from prison not everything goes your way and sure enough Russell was involved in a collision with a minibus. Russell decided that he would talk to the driver and offer to pay to have the damages put right. After speaking to the driver and convincing him that it would be easier for all concerned if he just paid for the damages out of his own pocket, all agreed. “I thought I had sorted it out with the fella, but he must have checked up on me”. Russell then received a bill for £2800 for damages, within two weeks that had risen to £7500 and the minibus had sustained a broken back wheel axle and now low and behold there were a number of people inside the minibus, which Russell had not noticed at the time, and they had all put a claim in for personal injuries such as whiplash. The police were now involved because Russell had genuinely given the other driver his details so that he could pay for the damages. Russell is now back in prison for breaching his conditions, because his previous offence was car related, and has now lost his new job. The MIB are now pressing him to pay for the insurance payout that they have had to pay to the injured parties.
Russell now reckons that the final bill may cost him anywhere between £25,000 and £30,000 and he has been banned from driving for a further three years. So was it worth it? Well the obvious answer is no! Only recently I was talking to another registered member about insurance in general, and he said to me how difficult he was finding it to get insured, in all honesty it quite annoyed me and I told him that there are lots of insurance organisations out there that will insure people with criminal convictions and that my organisation works alongside one of them: “Sale Insurance” who cater for all areas of insurance and give special attention to CIB registered members.
About the Author: Bob Croxton runs the Criminal Information Bureau, an organisation that is intended to help reduce offending by going into the community to speak to young people, and other organisations, and offering support to ex-offenders.
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