Sheffield City Council has powers to seize a vehicle, trailer or mobile plant and their contents if it's believed it is being, has been or will be used to commit a waste crime such as flytipping. Vehicles and their contents can be seized under the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 or the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
A vehicle can be seized:
- if it is used in flytipping
- if it is driven by somebody who is not registered as a waste carrier
- if it is used to transfer waste to somebody who is not registered as the waste carrier
- if it is being used at a site that is breaking the rules of an environmental permit
When a vehicle is seized, we are required to put details of the seizure on a public notice board. This is located adjacent to the main reception desk at Howden House, 1 Union Street, Sheffield, S1 2SH. This will be displayed on the first working day after the seizure has taken place and will be displayed for at least 15 days afterwards. We are also required to publish the details on our website or in a local newspaper. The police and the registered keeper will be notified in writing.
A seized vehicle can be held in storage for 15 working days whilst an offence is being investigated. If the investigation shows that the vehicle has been used in connection with a waste crime and a prosecution is initiated, the vehicle may be retained for the duration of the prosecution process.
When returning a seized vehicle, which had been retained during an investigation or prosecution, the owner will be notified and will be given 10 working days to collect the vehicle, before it is sold or destroyed.
If the Court decides that the owner of a seized vehicle has committed a waste crime, a Forfeiture Order can be made, which will enable the Council to sell or destroy the vehicle.
In certain circumstances, such as where a vehicle is a risk to people’s health, the seized vehicle may be immediately destroyed. If this occurs, the DVLA, the police and the registered owner will be notified accordingly.
The Council will allow 15 working days for the owner of the seized vehicle to make a claim. To claim a seized vehicle you must be the legal owner of the vehicle and be able to provide the following documents to prove this:
- V5C Vehicle Registration Document in your name with your correct address
- photo ID
If we require further proof of legal ownership we would notify you within one working day, any further proof must be received within 2 working days from receipt of the request, we will then notify you of a decision within 3 working days thereafter.
Where a vehicle has been claimed, the owner will have 10 working days to collect the vehicle, unless we need to keep the vehicle for further investigation or we are prosecuting the owner. If a claimed vehicle is to be released and is not collected within 10 working days, it can be sold or destroyed. If a vehicle is not claimed within 15 working days, it will be sold or destroyed.
Where a vehicle is sold, the proceeds of any sale will be used to cover the costs of seizing vehicles suspected of waste crimes.