There was a 7.5% increase in the number of people caught driving while already banned in Britain last year, new figures obtained by BBC Radio 5 live have shown.
Published on the BBC website today (7 Feb), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) figures show that almost 14,500 people were caught driving without a licence during 2016.
In total 109,660 motorists were banned from driving, with offenders ranging in age from 12 to 94 years.
Chief constable Suzette Davenport, the National Police Chief’s Council’s (NPCC) lead for roads policing, told the BBC she was ‘very concerned’ about the number of people disregarding driving bans.
One person was caught driving while banned four times in 12 months, and also convicted for failing to stop and driving without insurance at least three times.
Three 12-year-olds were banned last year, and cases such as theirs are dealt with by the courts in a similar way to adults. Too young to legally drive, a non-licence holder record is set up in their name on the DVLA’s database, and the offender can then only apply for a licence once their ban has expired.
Chief constable Suzette Davenport, told the BBC: "Generally some people who are disqualified will also be involved in other types of criminality and that might have contributed to them being banned.
"But they’ll be people who are driving without insurance because they can’t get insurance, because they’re disqualified drivers, and so that immediately poses a risk to all of us."