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Van seized while driving in London by Collect

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I was driving in London last week and and was stopped by the police who was standing in the middle of the road, he said there was a warrant on my van or something along that line, I was told to drive into a Car park with a few other cars, I was met by another constable together with a representative from the bailiffs Collect services, they informed me that I owed £500 for an unpaid parking fine some 3 years back, and that I needed to pay £200 there and then, I told them that I only had £60 available, I was told if I did not pay £200 I would have my van seized.


I told them that they could not do that as this was my work van and there is some law that says a van with tools etc can not be seized in this way, he said I was wrong and the van has to have been converted/adapted for use, for instance a side rack, that way it could not be taken, he demanded I hand over the ignition keys at which point the police officer asked for the keys so I handed it over. The bailiff gave me a form stating I must now pay £800+ storage to get may van back or it will be auctioned off.

I'm I right in thinking they have affected an illegal act in seizing my vehicle in this way.

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As many people are aware on the forum I have a commercial business advising the public with regards to bailiff queries and worryingly, since Monday, this is the 4th time that I have come across this same situation.


Firstly, there is NO LEGAL BASIS for the police to be stopping cars for unpaid parking tickets. These are simply "civil debts" . Can you imagine what would happen if the police stopped your car and then introdcued you to a county court bailiff in connection with a Judgment awarded against you by Barclaycard. What happended to you is exactly the same.


Furthermore, if the police are arguing about cutbacks to the police service, these operations are proof that police have got nothing better to do!!!


I have written in the past to a number of police forces concerning this method of enforcement as there is also the serious matter of the "warrant of execution".


The police would need to satisfy themselves that the warrant is valid and has not expired. Most seriosuly is that the warrant may also be addressed to a previous address and if so, the bailiff SHOULD NOT be pursuing the warrant and instead, ensuring that the local authority are aware that they have located a new address and the council must then ensure that they abide by section 75.7(7) of part 75 of the Civil Procedure Rules.


Which bailiff company was involved and which local authority issued the PCN?


Did you know about this PCN?


Was it correctly addressed and have you moved premises?


Which police force or more important police station was involved?


I would suggest that you call the Traffic Enforcement Centre on 08457 045 007 and ask them to confirm the PRECISE address on the warrant and the date that it had been issued.


Please post back once you have the information.

Edited by tomtubby
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