asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what powers the various branches of the security forces have to detain and to impound unlicensed or suspect vehicles.
Under the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973 constables have the power to seize anything, including motor vehicles, they suspect is being, has been or is about to be used in a terrorist offence; and both members of Her Majesty's Forces on duty and constables may stop and search motor vehicles for suspects and munitions. Vehicles may be removed elsewhere for searching if necessary. The police may also, under the Explosives Act 1875, seize a motor vehicle being used in the commission of an offence under that Act, and the Imported Livestock Order 1958 and the Movement of Pigs Regulations 1972 give the police powers to detain any vehicle thought to be used in contravention of those regulations. There are no powers to detain or impound unlicensed vehicles.