Theft of number plates is on the rise. Last year there was 14176 recorded cases. This year its already above 40000.
Public awareness of these criminal occurrences is very low.
Why is it happening?
Traffic enforcement is increasingly dependent on number plates. Speed cameras, congestion cameras and traffic wardens are all on the look out for your number plate. So if someone else has your number plate your get the summons.
The AA motoring trust has lots of examples of cases arranging from driving in bus lines to series of congestion charges.
Another reason for the thefts could be the incase in fuel prices. There has been an incase in petrol station drive offs. The thief get a free full tank of fuel while someone else gets a visit from the establishment.
How can we fight back?
Report to the police immediately. You’ll find it a lot easier to get out of any fines or investigations that come your way.
Make your number plate hard to steal. The one of the cheapest and easiest way to do this is by replacing the screws with clutch head screws. They make the plate very difficult to remove.
The government is taking the problem so seriously that there is even talk of making tamper proof number plates a legal requirement.
In the mean time if you see any thing suspicious or someone removing a number plate you might want to think about reporting it to the police. You could be saving someone a lot of bother.