The Greens believe that proper and consistent policing of traffic offences within the zone will challenge the culture of crime on wheels which has grown up in London as a result of traffic police numbers being halved in the last twelve years.
Jenny Jones, Green Party member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said, “We have spent too many years letting too many drivers get away with everything from false documents to no insurance and dodgy brakes. The congestion charge zone is a big step towards reversing the culture of crime on wheels. A lot of drivers are going to end up in shock, as they finally get caught out.”
This view is supported by a recent report by the Metropolitan Police who recently highlighted the expected decline in crime levels “within the zone, particularly with regard to those crimes that are vehicle related or use vehicles, as a result of the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system and the intelligence that the TfL computers can provide.”
Transport for London (TfL) believe that up to 10% of drivers will initially try to avoid paying the charge by being unregistered, or falsely registered. Several mobile enforcement teams will operate within the zone and the new Transport Police budget in London is being expanded to £50m to deal with vehicles using all of London’s bus lane corridors. The government has tightened up the national regulations for the renewal of vehicle licences, which will link the licence more firmly with vehicle ownership. Finally, TfL are now sharing information with the parking authorities about constant evaders, which will make vehicle confiscation and instant arrest for giving false information, more likely.