Abandoned vehicles are an environmental hazard, represent a danger to the public (especially children), create a magnet for crime and blight our communities.
Abandoned vehicles create problems not only for Councils but also for the Police and the Fire Service.
Many vehicles which are reported as abandoned to the Council are in actual fact simply:
- Involved with crime
Vehicles that fall into the above categories are technically not abandoned, however investigating reports and complaints in respect of these vehicles takes time. If you are reporting a vehicle to the Council as abandoned please be sure that it does not fall into one of the above categories.
Of all the complaints currently received by the Council concerning abandoned vehicles only 50% can be removed under statutory powers relating to "Abandonment". The remaining vehicles are not technically abandoned or are not in the location reported when a site visit is made.
A vehicle that is reported to the Council as abandoned must first be visited by a Council Officer to confirm the vehicle details and assess the condition and value of the vehicle. After an officer has visited and has assessed the vehicle meets the abandoned criteria only then can an online DVLA check be carried out to establish who the registered keeper is. If a vehicle is confirmed abandoned and of negative value (generally wrecked or burnt-out) a notice must be affixed to the vehicle and the vehicle photographed.
Correspondence will then be sent out to the registered keeper and/or a notice will be sent to the keeper asking the keeper to make contact or remove the vehicle. In certain circumstances, where a vehicle is considered to be a serious hazard to the environment or the community, the Council will remove the vehicle before the notice expires.
The Government has responded to the national problem of abandoned vehicles by giving stronger powers to Councils to remove and dispose of vehicles much quicker. These powers remain limited in their extent; however, we all have a responsibility to ensure that we protect our environment.
If you see a vehicle that you think may be abandoned:
If you see a vehicle that you think may be abandoned (and not merely untaxed or unregistered) you should contact 01623 457345 to report the vehicle, ensuring that you provide us with as many of the following details as you can:
- The exact location of the vehicle
- Registration Number
Alternatively, you can report the same details by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org