The mo­torists caught tak­ing the DVSA for a ride

Grimsby Telegraph - - News In Numbers - By MICHAEL GOODIER

HUN­DREDS of learn­er­drivers are re­ported to driv­ing stan­dards each year for us­ing-stand ins to take their test for them.

Ex­clu­sive data re­leased un­der the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act re­veals that 470 re­ports of fraud by im­per­son­ation were made to the Driver and Ve­hi­cle Stan­dards Agency (DVSA) in the fi­nan­cial year 2017-18. Those cases cov­ered cheat­ing in both the­ory and prac­ti­cal driv­ing tests.

A fur­ther 349 re­ports of tech­nol­ogy as­sisted fraud were re­ceived by the DVSA, cov­er­ing peo­ple cheat­ing on their the­ory test.

The fig­ures, while high, show an 11% de­crease in the num­ber of fraud re­ports com­pared to 2016-17.

In that year there were 917 to­tal re­ports – 528 of them for im­per­son­ation.

Only a small pro­por­tion of the re­ports typ­i­cally led to an ar­rest, with some 244 made in 2017-18. There were 66 con­vic­tions over the same pe­riod, mean­ing that more than a quar­ter (27%) of those ar­rested were con­victed, up from 16% the year be­fore.

How­ever, some 138 peo­ple re­ceived a cau­tion, down 49% from 2016-17.

Over the last six years more than 1,100 li­cences have been re­voked due to ev­i­dence that the li­cence was ob­tained fraud­u­lently, which in­cludes im­per­son­ation.

Andy Rice, Head of Counter-Fraud and In­ves­ti­ga­tions for the DVSA, said: “DVSA’s pri­or­ity is to pro­tect you from un­safe drivers and ve­hi­cles.

“Driv­ing test fraud is a se­ri­ous of­fence and puts in­no­cent road users at risk.

“The driv­ing test is there to make sure all drivers have the skills and knowl­edge to use the roads safely and re­spon­si­bly.

“We have strin­gent mea­sures in place to de­tect fraud and bring all of­fend­ers to jus­tice.”

Si­mon Williams, spokesper­son for the RAC said: “Every motorist who has stud­ied and prac­tised hard to pass the the­ory and prac­ti­cal driv­ing tests will be both shocked and con­cerned that some peo­ple are abus­ing the sys­tem by get­ting oth­ers to im­per­son­ate them so they can be­come a fully qual­i­fied driver.

“This is very wor­ry­ing be­cause the driv­ing test sys­tem is de­signed to make sure ev­ery­one has met a min­i­mum stan­dard so they are safe to drive on the road un­su­per­vised. Any­one who flouts this process is putting lives at risk

“We urge any­one who be­comes aware of this kind of fraud to re­port it to the po­lice.”

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