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Operations & other roads policing

Read about North Yorkshire Police’s operations, aimed at making your roads safer.

Operation Spartan

Operation Spartan aims to improve the attitude of those who use our roads and increase the level of safety for all through the assistance of the public.

It is the intention of North Yorkshire Police to make the roads of North Yorkshire a safer environment for all road users. With the assistance of the public, the police hope to identify road users, who are seen as being at risk of causing themselves and/ or others harm.

The primary aim of Operation Spartan is to educate ‘Vulnerable’ road users, who by virtue of their manner of driving are classed as being more likely to be involved in or cause collisions.

Operation Spartan has also been responsible for the prosecution of a number of drivers. Therefore any members of the public wishing to make a report through Operation Spartan may be asked to support a prosecution and provide a statement in relation to any reports that they make.

When making a report to police it is important to include as much detail as possible including; date, time, location, vehicle number plates, etc. Please remember without identifiable information it is not possible for Operation Spartan to take any further action. North Yorkshire Police also request that anyone providing a report includes their own contact information.

The public are encouraged to submit information regarding instances of anti-social use of vehicles, traffic driving offences or inconsiderate/dangerous driving, for example

  • Overtaking on solid white lines
  • Use of mobile phones whilst driving
  • Failing to comply with traffic signals
  • Contravening traffic directions
  • Endangering other road user through poor manner of driving- If the driving behaviour results in an emergency, immediate risk, damage or injury, please use either 999 or 101.In relation to parking violations please report these incidences to your local authority, unless the above applies.

Driving Concern Form

If you have video footage that you would like to submit to Op Spartan, please send via a file transfer service (such as WeTransfer or Dropbox) to OpSpartan@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

North Yorkshire Police would like to thank the public for their support, please note that due to the high number of submissions we are not able to provide feedback on every report.

You can follow the operation on Twitter @NYPOpSpartan

Vehicle Recovery

Under Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 there are several powers the police may use to seize vehicles.

The North Yorkshire Recovery Scheme is managed and run by the AA

Why was my vehicle seized?

Vehicles can be seized for the following reasons:

Careless and Antisocial Driving – An initial warning will be given on the first offence, further offences will result in the vehicle being seized.

Unlicensed drivers – If a driving licence isn’t produced to an officer upon request, and the officer has reasonable grounds for believing a motor vehicle is or was being driven by the person other than in accordance with a driving licence for that class of vehicle, the vehicle will be seized.

Uninsured drivers – If insurance is not/cannot be produced to an officer upon request, and the officer has reasonable grounds for believing the vehicle is or was being driven without a valid certificate of insurance to cover its use, the vehicle will be seized. The onus is on the driver to prove they are insured to drive the vehicle.

Drivers who fail to stop – If an officer requests a vehicle to stop and the driver fails to stop, fails to stop long enough or stops and makes off on foot, the vehicle will be seized.

Obstruction or Dangerous to other road users – An officer will give the driver a reasonable time to remove a vehicle if it is causing an obstruction. If the vehicle is not moved, it will be seized.

For use as evidence – Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) police can recover any evidence at a crime scene.

Road tax offences – North Yorkshire Police hold DVLA devolved powers to seize vehicles that do not hold road tax. Details of how to reclaim the vehicle are explained in the leaflet issued at the scene.

Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) – DVLA powers allow officers to seize vehicles seen driven on a road that have been declared as SORN.

Foreign-registered vehicles (FRVs) – The powers also allow officers to seize FRVs when they have been driven on a publically maintained road and have either:

  • Been in the UK for longer than 6 months (visiting, on holiday, etc.).
  • Or if the driver/owner is a resident in the UK, then the 6 months does not apply and the vehicle must be registered, taxed and insured in the UK before it can be driven. There may be exemption to this in the case of foreign students.

Stolen vehicles – When a stolen motor vehicle is located attempts will be made to notify the owner. If they unable to attend in a reasonable time recovery will be requested by North Yorkshire Police. This is to facilitate examination of the vehicle. If the vehicle is left there is a risk that it may be re-stolen, vandalised or set on fire, creating additional costs. The vehicle may also be causing an obstruction or be insecure.

What do I do when my vehicle has been seized?

If your vehicle was seized because the driver was uninsured, unlicensed or driving in an antisocial manner at the time of the seizure, the officer will have given you a seizure notice detailing the requirements of the relevant legislation. This notice, along with all relevant documents, should be taken to a police station within 7 days of the seizure notice. The vehicle should be claimed back within 14 working days.

If you do not want your vehicle back, you may be obligated to pay the recovery fee. Property from within the vehicle will be kept for 3 months before been disposed of.

If you do not contact the recovery operator within 7 days of recovery, the police will authorise the recovery operator to dispose of the vehicle. This may be by sale or by scrap. A full audit trail is maintained throughout its stay at the recovery operatory, from recovery to ultimate disposal.

How much will it cost?

The government sets the statutory recovery fee and the current charges are scenario based, starting at £150 (vehicle laden on road, upright and not substantially damaged or any two wheeled vehicles) rising to £6000 (vehicle exceeding 18 tonnes MAM, off road, either not upright, substantially damaged or both). This includes storage until midday of the following day.

If you fail to collect your vehicle, there will be further charges for each period of 24 hours or part thereof, based on the size of the vehicle;

  • £10 – Two wheeled Vehicles
  • £20 – Vehicles under 3.5 tonnes
  • £35 – Vehicle exceeding 18 tonnes MAM.

If your vehicle is recovered for forensic elimination purposes only, you will not have to pay for its recovery or storage. However, if the vehicle is recovered under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, North Yorkshire Police will only be responsible for any costs if the incident is NFA’d (No Further Actioned).

If you have only third party insurance, please be aware that your insurance company may not pay for the recovery costs.

Frequently asked questions

Vehicle_Recovery_Unit_FAQs 8.11

Contact us:

Please contact us on the following:

Telephone: 01609 643230 between 8am and 4 pm Monday – Friday

Email: vehiclerecovery@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

Address: Vehicle Recovery Unit, North Yorkshire Police, Vale House, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 3BX.

Abnormal Loads

Hauliers are required by law to notify North Yorkshire Police with at least 48 hours notice, when a load intended to travel on roads in North Yorkshire exceeds one of the following:

  • Overall width: 2.9m
  • Overall length: 18.35m
  • Overall weight: 44 tonnes

Conditions of movement:

The driver and haulier of the abnormal load are responsible for ensuring that the load travels safely and is properly secured and marked at all times

    • All abnormal loads must comply with all road traffic legislation whether being escorted or not
    • Vehicle must be able to maintain speed of 30mph on level ground
    • A copy of the original notification and this response to be carried by driver
    • Load to be properly secured including hydraulic arms
    • Haulier must ensure the route is suitable & approved by other authorities where required
    • The extremities of the load must be clearly marked with approved marker boards – and if visibility is reduced these must be illuminated
    • No deviation from the notified route
    • It is the hauliers responsibility to make sure that there are no roadworks that could effect the route before commencing the journey
  • We do not normally request that cranes have an escort 


Self Escorting is required for loads as follows:

Type of road Overall width Overall length Overall weight
Single carriageways 4.1m or above 26m or above 80 tonnes or above
Dual carriageways 4.3m or above 30m or above 130 tonnes or above
  • Escort vehicle, markings, equipment and manner of use must comply with The Highways Agency Codes of Practice for Self Escorting Abnormal Loads

A Police Escort will only be provided for the following reasons:

  • The load has been issued with a VR1 by the Department for Transport
  • The load is to be moved under the authority of a Special Order issued by the Secretary of State
  • The size of the load or the route to be taken determine that it requires a police escort (e.g. where traffic control or closure of roads will be required)

North Yorkshire Police will charge for providing this service and will require 10 clear working days notice. Include Police Escort required in your subject heading

The haulier is ultimately responsible at all times for ensuring that loads travel safely on appropriate route and in compliance with legislation.

Road Policing officers from North Yorkshire Police will be pro-active in the enforcement of legislation and conduct of Abnormal load movements and will expect drivers to carry a copy of original notification and this document.

Annual Dispensations

HGV Dispensations are available for loads not exceeding 3.5m wide and Agricultural Dispensations for loads not exceeding 4.3m wide to apply or for further details please contact us:

Tel: 01609 643230
Address: Abnormal Loads Department, Vale House, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, Y07 3BX


Police Officer Issued Tickets

If you have been issued with a Traffic Offence Report (TOR), a HORT, a VDRS or PND by a police officer, the Police Officer’s copy of your ticket is sent to the Traffic Bureau for processing.

If you were issued with a TOR, you will then be sent either a course offer or a conditional offer depending on the offence and your eligibility.

If you have been issued with a HORT – then you will need to take the requested documents to your elected Police Station within 7 days.

If you have been issued with a VDRS, you need to have had the defect resolved, the ticket stamped by a garage and then send your ticket to the Traffic Bureau within 14 days.

If you have been issued with a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) you need to make a full payment within 21 days. You can make payment by ringing 0300 1231 481 or online at https://penalty notice.direct.gov.uk.

You will need the full 16 digit ticket number found at the top of your ticket.

You can also elect for a court hearing if you would like to contest the offence. You can do this by completing the Court Hearing section in your paperwork or write a letter requesting the court hearing and send it to the address below.

Our Contact Details:

Telephone: 01904 618968

Email: Traffic.Bureau@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

Address: Traffic Bureau

P O Box 809


YO31 6DG