Police have been urged to investigate after allegations that some travellers’ vehicles parked up on an illegal site in Mirfield were not taxed.
Vans and 4x4 vehicles were photographed pulling onto playing fields off Old Bank Road last Thursday.
The pictures posed on social media showed the registration numbers clearly visible – and now residents have checked the plates on the publicly-available GOV.UK website.
According to posts and screenshots on Facebook group Mirfield Matters several of these vehicles are recorded as untaxed.
It has been reported that the public DVLA search is not necessarily accurate but residents want police to investigate.
Mirfield Tory councillor Martyn Bolt , also Kirklees Council’s Conservative deputy leader, said the police should get involved.
“It does seem that a Government website is showing some vehicles to be untaxed,” he said. “And we are told that if your vehicle is not taxed, you are not insured either. If you use a vehicle on the road without insurance it can be seized and crushed, and if it was you or I that is what would happen.”
Clr Bolt said the police seemed “very quiet” on the issue and added: “It doesn’t exactly instil confidence.
“We hear from the police that because of resources they are moving towards intelligence-led policing, relying on information from the public.
“Here we have members of the public providing this intelligence and the police should investigate. If the DVLA website is not accurate then the police can use their own police national computer to check whether these vehicles are taxed or not.”
The Examiner reported on Saturday how around a dozen caravans pitched up at Old Bank Rec. Residents claim they saw the travellers forcing a padlock off the gate to break in.
Residents living nearby have reported seeing travellers defecating in the fields.
Kirklees Council has launched legal action to seek an eviction notice and a court hearing is expected later this week.
Meanwhile, Kirklees Council leader David Sheard wants to see a change in the law.
“The law as it stands is an ass and the travellers know that,” he said. “What we need is the Government to make occupation of land an offence.
“The use of Section 61 isn’t straightforward but it’s a tool that can be used more often. The law is just a mess and there’s no easy answer to it.”
Sgt James Engall, of the Dewsbury and Mirfield Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Officers have previously visited the site following concerns raised by the community and continue to work closely with partner agencies. We will record any offences and take appropriate action.
“Vehicles that are believed to be untaxed or not SORN should reported to the DVLA.
“Anyone who has any suspicions about vehicles being driven without insurance, or any other incidents, can reports their concerns to the Neighbourhood Policing Team via 101.”
In unrelated investigations, police would like to speak to the people pictured in the image gallery below. The people pictured in the images may be witnesses as well as suspects. If you recognise anyone, contact police on 101 quoting the reference number on the image caption.