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Failed police operation loses £1.3m

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A failed operation to seize uninsured vehicles in London has led to a £1.3 million budget deficit for Scotland Yard. 

Operation Reclaim was launched across the capital after a law change enabled any officer to act on vehicles found without correct paperwork, and senior staff said the scheme would cut crime and get polluting vehicles off the road.

But new figures revealed police expect to seize 36,000 vehicles by April, 24,000 fewer than anticipated. The Metropolitan Police expected to collect £3.2m in fines and fees during the operation. 

Jenny Jones, a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said more work needs to be done to tackle drivers without car insurance.

She said: "Two decades of neglecting this issue have led to a culture of lawless roads where far too many motorists in London feel they can drive without insurance and get away with it. 

"I think it is great that the police in most areas of London are finally getting on top of this problem. However, some borough police commanders are still not seeing the clear link between uninsured driving and main stream criminality."

© Press Association 2009