TWOC and Vehicle Interference


S12 TWOC Theft Act 1968

Section 12 - Taking a Conveyance Without Owner's Consent (Theft Act 1968)

["A person shall be guilty of an offence if, without the consent of the owner or other lawful authority, he takes a conveyance for his own, or another's use, or knowing that a conveyance has been taken without such authority, drives it or allows himself to be carried in or on it."]

Summary Only Offence

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Definition of a Conveyance

A conveyance is anything that has been made or adapted for the use of carriage of persons whether by land, water or air.


  • Car
  • Dinghy
  • Hot Air Ballon
  • Jet Ski

A conveyance is not:

  • A bicycle
  • A hand-cart
  • An animal which is not being used in conjunction with a passenger cart
  • Anything which is controlled by a person not in or on that conveyance (i.e. remote controlled)
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'Takes' and 'Consent'


A conveyance is 'taken' if it is moved any distance from it's original position.

It is irrelevant how little the conveyance is moved, however simply starting the engine is not sufficient.


The consent of the owner relates to permission. Permission must be given freely and not under threat or force.

If a person has an honestly held belief that consent would have been given by the owner under the circumstances, they may have a defence in law.

Where there is consent to drive a conveyance and it is used outside of these conditions, the act would amount to TWOC.

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'For His Own or Another's Use' and 'Drives'

His Own or Another's Use

Typically, a person will take a conveyance for the purpose of 'stealing a ride'.

Provided the other parts of the offence are proved, the use may cover an intention to use it in the future, or to hand to another person for their use.


Driving is generally defined as having control over both direction and movement, including breaking.

If a person were to sit in a car and steer while another pushes it, this amounts to driving. Likewise, motorbikes which are being steered via the handles and pushed along while being straddled amounts to driving.

However a person must be sat in or on the conveyance.

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'Allows Themselves' and 'Knowing'

Allowing Themselves

The person allowing themselves to be carried on or in the conveyance must know that it has been taken without the owner's consent.

Both the passenger and the driver must be carried in or on the conveyance.


As above, the passenger must know the vehicle has been taken without consent. This may come from an admission from the driver. In most cases, this element of the offence is likely to be proved upon interview.

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Aggravated TWOC

Section 12(a) Aggravated TWOC

["A person is guilty if he commits the basic offence of TWOC in relation to a mechnically propelled vehicle and it is proved that at any time after the vehicle was taken (whether by him or another) and before it is recovered, the vehicle was driven, or injury or damage was caused, in one or more of the following circumstances:

  • The vehicle was driven dangerously on a road or public place
  • Owing to the driving an accident occurred resulting in the injury of any person
  • Owing to the driving damage was caused to any property other than that vehicle
  • Damage was caused to the vehicle."]
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Taking a Pedal Cycle Without Consent

Section 12.5 Taking a Pedal Cycle Without Consent (Theft Act 1968)

["A person without the owner's consent or other lawful authority takes a pedal cycle for his or anothers use or knowing it has been so taken, rides it."]

Summary Only

There is no offence for a person allowing himself to be carried in or on it.

A pedal cycle is not defined as a conveyance, hence the need for a seperate offence.

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Interference with Vehicles

Section 9 Interference with Vehicles (Criminal Attempts Act 1981)

["A person is guilty of an offence if he interferes with a motor vehicle or trailer or with anything in or on the vehicle or trailer, with the intention that an offence of the below shall be committed by him or another person:

a) theft of the motor vehicle or trailer

b) theft of anything carried in or on the motor vehicle

c) TWOC of the vehicle"]

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