Government to crack down on dumped cars

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The Independent Online

A campaign to clear abandoned cars from the streets was announced yesterday by the Government. Local authorities are being given greater powers to fine offenders as part of a plan to reduce the number of abandoned cars by 25 per cent a year by 2008.

A campaign to clear abandoned cars from the streets was announced yesterday by the Government. Local authorities are being given greater powers to fine offenders as part of a plan to reduce the number of abandoned cars by 25 per cent a year by 2008.

The crackdown came on the day that all 32 London boroughs announced that they were removing nuisance vehicles within 72 hours of a report from a member of the public.

More than 300,000 vehicles are abandoned nationwide every year, acting as a magnet for crime, antisocial behaviour and arson. A further one million are uninsured and untaxed for more than three months and with no current keeper and are likely to be abandoned in the future.

The new national strategy to reverse the dramatic upward trend will give local authorities more powers to immediately seize and destroy vehicles causing a nuisance.

It will support local authorities to make wider use of the powers already available to them and make the polluter pay with increased fees and charges to better reflect the cost of removal and storage.

It will also pay for experts to share their learning through a new advisory service.

The urban policy minister, Keith Hill, said: "Nuisance vehicles, whether abandoned, untaxed or unlicensed, blight neighbourhoods across the country. They damage our environment and our communities, and they attract criminal damage, vandalism and arson. They also divert public money from other important local services. The Government is committed to ridding the streets of this eyesore.''

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