Revealed: Learners in Hampshire caught using driving test impersonators

File photo of an L plate. Picture: PA Wire/Press Association Images
File photo of an L plate. Picture: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Flurry of suspected fraudsters targeting residents in Gosport

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TWO people have been convicted after standing-in for learner drivers in tests, it has been revealed.

Figures released by the government after an MP’s questions showed one was convicted in Hampshire between April 2015 and March 2016, and another previously between April 2014 and March 2015.

Separate data shows the first was jailed for six months and the second for four months.

A third person was convicted and jailed for six months for using an impersonator to take a theory or practical test in the county in 2013/14.

It comes as it was revealed there were 209 convictions from 2012/13 to 2016/17.

Answering a series of written parliamentary questions from MP Karl McCartney, transport minister Andrew Jones said: ‘The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the agency responsible for practical and theory driving tests, is unable to estimate the number of people who currently hold a driving licence fraudulently obtained by using an impersonator to take the written and practical parts of the driving test for them.

‘The DVSA does however has a dedicated Counter-Fraud and Investigation Team which actively investigates instances of fraud, including impersonation at theory and practical driving tests.

‘DVSA has also recently launched a 3-year counter fraud strategy.

‘One aspect of the strategy is to prevent the fraudulent issue of licences or the circumvention of controls as part of the delivery of DVSA products and services; ensuring they are only accessible by those who are eligible or entitled to them.

‘The strategy also aims to prosecute and disrupt those individuals and organisations suspected of submitting fraudulent applications or of being complicit in criminal activity.

‘Over the last five years over 1,100 licences have been revoked due to evidence that the licence was obtained fraudulently, which includes impersonation.

Andy Rice, the DVSA’s head of counter-fraud and investigations, said: ‘Thankfully, this type of crime is extremely rare.’

About 1.5 million practical and 1.9 million theory tests are taken each year.