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Abandoned vehicles - 183/18

Date Responded 20 February 2018

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

I would like to request information in relation to abandoned vehicles in particular…

1. Information as to the process when an abandoned vehicle is reported/discovered to/by the Northumbria Police.

2. Information as to what information is held in respect of the abandoned vehicle and in what format, i.e. text/digital photographs.

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

 Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within the Instructional Information Search (IIS) of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

 I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

 The information provided has been extracted from a Procedure available to officers and staff relating to the Northumbria Police Vehicle Recovery Scheme and the extracted part is specific to your request.


Vehicles that have no current keeper or ownership cannot be established, and are abandoned on roads or public land, are the responsibility of the Local Authority. Northumbria Police has a partnership agreement, with Northumberland County Council and Tyne and Wear Local Authorities, with the exception of South Tyneside, to facilitate the recovery and management of abandoned vehicles. The scheme used for such recoveries is the AVAIL Scheme.

When a vehicle is reported as abandoned and:

  • Is in reasonable condition.
  • Where there is no keeper.
  • Does not pose an immediate risk to nearby property.
  • Does not pose an immediate risk to public health and safety.
  • In an area where that are not likely to be burnt out or vandalised.

An incident log will be created identifying all relevant information and should be switched through to the Vehicle Recovery Unit. The Vehicle Recovery Unit will carry out relevant enquiries and where appropriate will arrange for the vehicle to be removed. However, if the vehicle poses a danger and is found to be:

  • Insecure and in poor condition.
  • Posing a risk to nearby property.
  • Danger to health and safety.
  • At risk of vandalism/arson.
  • Burnt-out.

An incident log will be created identifying all relevant information. The attending officer should contact the relevant Recovery Operator and request immediate recovery under the AVAIL Scheme. The cost of removal will lie with either the vehicle owner or the Local Authority.

Seizure of vehicles under Section 59 Police Reform Act 2002
Police Reform Act 2002 - Seizure of Vehicles
The attending Officer will inform Communications staff regarding requirement for a S59 / S165 vehicle uplift. Communications staff will create an incident, allocate the requesting officer to the log, add PNC information to log and create VURN. Officer at scene will contact the geographic garage for that area and pass 1-10 vehicle information (please see below). The Officer at the scene will advise Communications staff of the garage estimated time of arrival to allow completion of the Garage Call Out screen. The Officer will endorse the incident log when the recovery agent has attended to enable log closure.

The officer is responsible for ensuring that a seizure notice is issued to the registered keeper/ owner and that a copy of the seizure notice is faxed to Vehicle Recovery Unit. The owner will be responsible for any costs associated with the seizure.

1 – 10 Vehicle Information
The following information must be provided to the recovery agent:
1. Location
2. Make, Model, VRM
3. MAM.1 (M.A.M = Maximum Authorised Mass)
4. On / off road / with keys / without keys
5. Extent of damage
6. Front end lift / full lift / Crane
7. RTC / 165 / 59 etc.
8. Examination Required? i.e. S.O.C.O / Mechanical / N/A
9. Authority – i.e. S165 / S59
10. Officer Requesting

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