Taking a Conveyance Without Consent
Sec 12(1) Theft Act 1968
"A person shall be guity if, without the consent of the owner, or other lawful authority, he/she takes any conveyance for his/her or another's use, or knowing that any coveyance has been taken without such authority, drives it, or allows himself to be carried in or on it."
This means anything that is constructed or adapted for the carriage of persons by land, water or air.
A conveyance which is made for use under the control of a person not carried in or on it is specifically excluded. Example - pedestrian operated milk float, or post office cart.
An animal upon which a person can ride cannot itself be a conveyance, but a vehicle made or adapted to carry a person(s) drawn by animal is a conveyance.
Pedal cycles are not a conveyance.
A conveyance is taken if it is moved any distance from its orginal position.
It will be for a court to decide, with regard to circumstances and previous stated cases, what distance is sufficient to qualify as 'taken'.
It does not matter how far the conveyance is taken, but simply starting the engine is not enough.
For His or Another's Use
Normally, a person will take a conveyance for the purpose of immediately driving/riding it. However, 'use' may cover an intention to use it in the future.
Example - where a specialist car thief takes a car for temporary use in a bank robbery.
Consent of the Owner
Where consent of the owner has been obtained, it would be an offence to go beyond the scope of permission given.
Example - an owner gives permission for a friend to borrow a vehicle soley for driving to and from work, but the friend then uses the car to go out socially at night.
If, however, the person taking the conveyance genuinely believes that the owner would have given consent, had they known the circumstances, they do not commit this offence. This is so, even if the belief is mistakenly held.
Consent must be true consent. It must not have been obtained through threats of violence or any other form of intimidation.
Drives it or Allows Himself to be Driven
This includes where a person who was not present at the actual taking, later drive the conveyance, or rides in or on it.
It must be proved:
- That the person knew the conveyance was taken without permission (mere suspicion is not enough)
- They drove the conveyance or allowed themselves to be carried in or on it
Driving concerns the control and propulsion of the conveyance, as well as the accepted sense of the word. In both cases of 'driving' and 'allowing themselves to be carried', it must be proved that the conveyance was in motion.
Any person who commits the offence of TWOC and they and the vehicle was involved in any of the four aggravating circumstances after the taking of the vehicle, and before it's recovery.
Four aggravating circumstances
- The vehicle was driven dangerously on a road or other public place
- Owing to the driving, the vehicle was involved in a collision of some such sort, and which caused injury to any person
- Owing to the driving, the vehicle was involved in a collision of some such sort, and which caused damage to property other than the vehicle
- That damage was caused to the vehicle