Named, Shamed and Defamed by the Police

J. Mcgarry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


Since 2005, police in the United Kingdom have had the power to seize vehicles where they reasonably believe they are being driven without motor insurance or driving licence. Forces across the UK have made extensive use of this provision. In this article, I examine the way in which Merseyside Police have operated this power of seizure. In particular, I consider the force’s practice of attaching to seized vehicles notices stating that they have been driven without insurance. I argue that, where such notices are attached to the vehicles of drivers who are in fact insured, they may amount to an actionable libel against which the police would have no effective legal defence. I also suggest that the use of such notices may be part of a ‘name and shame’ policy and, if so, that this is also likely to make their use unlawful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2011


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