Previously, only road policing officers were able to seize vehicles, but any uniformed Sussex Police officer will now be able to take a car away from a driver if they do not have a valid driving licence and insurance.
Chief Inspector Di Roskilly of Sussex Police’s Road Policing Unit (RPU) said: “These powers are a great tool for officers to help to keep our roads safer by removing drivers that disregard the law from our roads. Uninsured and unlicensed drivers are a risk to the wider public.
“This power has been trialled for a long period by the Road Policing Unit and a robust process is in place to ensure only drivers who are committing certain offences have their vehicles seized. We are now in a position to roll this power out to all uniformed officers, including special constables.
“We appreciate the impact taking a car away can have on an individual and therefore we are ensuring this power is used proportionately.
“Once seized, vehicles can be released back to the owner if they can show the correct paperwork within 14 days and pay the relevant fees, or the vehicle can be disposed of by way of scrapping or auction if they don’t.
“The aim of giving all uniformed officers these powers is to reduce crashes involving uninsured and unlicensed drivers, ensure people are driving legally and get criminals off our roads.
“We know the majority of the public are very supportive of us using these powers.”
Anyone who would like to report an uninsured or unlicensed driver, or report someone’s driving behaviour, can do so through www.operationcrackdown.co.uk or by calling Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999.