Following recent reports of number plate thefts in our area, we’re reminding motorists of some crime prevention hints.
Crime prevention advice
• Park your car in a garage at night or park to prevent access to either front or rear number plate.
• Park in a safe public car park.
• If parking on a public road, park in a well-lit spot.
• Use theft resistant number plates (Secure Plate) which are designed to break apart if they are forcibly removed from a vehicle.
• Fit security screws. Simple anti-theft devices can be easily fitted with a screwdriver in place of existing screws but cannot be removed using standard tools (use correct security screws appropriate for the pre-existing number plate screw size and application). These are available from high street automotive accessories outlets
• If you notice a car with different number plates on the front and the back or number plate missing, please let police know using the non-emergency number 101.
Why do people steal number plates?
Number plates are stolen by people who don’t want to be found out when they commit certain crimes. These crimes include:
- Illegal parking
- Not paying congestion charges
- Driving away from a petrol forecourt without paying
- Not paying for parking tickets or speeding fines
- ‘Disguising’ a stolen vehicle.
Vehicles with stolen number plates have also been used in more serious crimes such as kidnap and robbery.
What are the benefits of theft resistant number plates?
The benefits of theft resistant number plates include:
- Reducing the number of car owners faced with motoring related fines for something they didn’t do.
- Preventing vehicle cloning (copying the identity of a similar vehicle) and reselling them to unsuspecting motorists.
What do I do if my number plates have been stolen?
If your number plates are stolen, the DVLA advises you to report the theft to the police. If you receive fines or correspondence after the theft, you should return them immediately to the issuing authority with an explanation and any documentary evidence.