Greater Manchester Police are sending a tough warning to motorists who try to scam their way out of traffic offences.
It comes after more than 120 motorists faced court action, after a police crackdown on drivers allegedly faking identities to avoid prosecution.Officers in Greater Manchester claim fictitious names and addresses are among the scams being used.
Some defendants are suspected of paying as much as £800 to avoid penalty points, fines, and driving bans.
They're warning motorists who commit more serious traffic offences to always expect a letter through the post with a court date.
An operation into the so-called Notice of Impending Prosecution (NIP) Farms was launched in early 2022 after bogus forms were being returned to the police with registered vehicle keepers nominating fictitious driver’s names and driving licenses as well as repeat addresses.
One property in Oldham is believed to have been used over 100 times in the last two years – with 22 more addresses in the town being used for the scam - and another in Accrington is thought to have been used at least 50 times.
A total of 126 drivers have been summoned to appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court accused of failing to provide information which carries a mandatory penalty of six points and a fine of up to over £600.
Of those, 78 drivers admitted or were found guilty of the offence, It’s understood to be the first time that offences of this nature have been placed before the courts on such a large scale.
Greater Manchester Police are now warning drivers against trying to avoid justice by utilising the scam as they say they are committed to identifying and prosecuting all those who attempt to skip the system.
Paul Rowe, Manager of the Central Ticket Office, said: “We’ve had drivers try and retrospectively hold their hands up in admitting the original offence, but we will not accept it; if you are found to be using this scam then expect a summons through the post, and if you’re running a NIP farm then know we are investigating you and you will be arrested.”
Chief Inspector Ronnie Neilson, of our Roads Policing Unit, said: “Too many drivers had lost the fear of enforcement but that is emphatically changing; we’re doubling our Roads Policing Teams this year and are ensuring that anyone committing the four fatal acts of speeding, mobile phone use, drink/drug driving, and not wearing seatbelts is caught and prosecuted."