Increase in driving test lookalikes

Published: Monday 26th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Rising numbers of learner drivers are being caught trying to cheat their tests by hiring lookalikes, according to Government figures.

More than 670 cases of impersonators sitting theory and practical exams have been reported so far in 2014/15, more than a fifth higher than the previous financial year, t he Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said.

Andy Rice, the DVSA’s head of fraud and integrity, said driving test fraud was putting “innocent road users at risk” and it had “stringent measures” to detect offences.

Figures published by the DVSA following a Freedom of Information request by the Times newspaper have revealed the number of “impersonation investigations” for each financial year over the last decade.

From April to the end of December 2014, there were 677 reported cases, compared with 554 for the whole of 2013/14 and 628 in 2012/13.

Some 188 arrests have been carried out so far in 2014/15, while there were 55 convictions for fraud offences. Thirty seven people have been jailed and 97 driving licences revoked, according to the figures.

The highest number of reported cases in the last 10 years was 816 in 2011/12, but that total could now be surpassed with figures for the last three months of the current financial year still to be added.

Mr Rice said: “The driving test is there to ensure that all drivers have the skills and knowledge to use the roads safely and responsibly. Anyone who tries to circumvent this process is putting innocent road users at risk.

“Driving test fraud is a serious offence and is dealt with accordingly. We have stringent measures in place to detect fraudulent activity and work closely with the police to bring all offenders to justice. Thankfully this type of crime is extremely rare.”

Published: Monday 26th January 2015 by The News Editor

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