Joy Riding (TWC) – The Law

Joy riding TWC TWOC TDA. Taking without consent, taking and driving away, taking a conveyance, stealing a car, nicking a car, or as the press likes to call it, Joy riding. For the purpose of this blog, sections 12 and 12A of the theft Act shall be known as joy riding.
All names for taking someone’s car, or boat, or motorcycle for your own or another’s use. Joy riding is not theft if there is no intention to deprive the owner of it permanently, so TWC or joy riding as it is known, was introduced to fill this loophole in the law. For the joy riding offence to be complete, the joy riding has to be for your own or another’s use. Simply moving a car that is causing an obstruction is not joy riding. Untying boats and letting them drift from the mooring is not joy riding, but taking one for a row is. Taking a car for a test drive and keeping it longer than permitted is not joy riding, because it was taken with permission (it could be theft of petrol however). Conveyance means any conveyance constructed or adapted for the carriage of a person or persons whether by land, water or air (planes!) It does not include a conveyance constructed or adapted for use only under the control of a person not carried in or on it. So wheeling away a handcart, wheelbarrow or shopping trolley is not joy riding even if your mate is in it!. There is a separate offence of taking a pedal cycle.
There is an aggravated offence called aggravated vehicle taking. Aggravated means made worse. If a mechanically propelled vehicle is taken without consent and it is proved that, at any time after the vehicle was unlawfully taken (whether by him or another) and before it was recovered, the vehicle was driven dangerously, an accident occurred which caused injury, damage to other property or the stolen vehicle, then the aggravated offence is complete. Aggravated vehicle taking elevates the maximum sentence from 6 months imprisonment to 2 years. So the advice is don’t take someone else’s car and go joy riding, but if you do don’t crash it. If you kill someone it is 14 years! There is also an offence of knowing that any conveyance has been taken without such authority, drives it or allows himself to be carried in or on it. This covers passengers in cars that go joy riding.