If you want to buy a set of number plates from a legitimate supplier you'll have to present the vehicle registration document and prove who you are, so thieves often resort to stealing number plates from a car on the street or in a quiet corner of a car park.
With so much enforcement by CCTV or ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) stolen plates can be used to disguise another car to aid crimes like:
- Changing the identity of a stolen car so it can be sold
- Ram-raiding or burglary
- Driving from petrol stations without paying
- Evading congestion charges, parking and speeding fines
If the number plates are stolen from your car you should report it to the police straight away – you might start receiving parking fines, speeding fines or worse.
Number plate theft is a big problem and rates have more than doubled in the last five years.
How to protect your plates
- Use a garage at night if you can
- Park in busy, well-lit areas if you have to park on the street
- Use safe, well-lit public car parks
- Consider using security screws which can be turned easily using a screwdriver to fit them but can’t be undone using normal tools.
- Consider using theft-resistant number plates which may cost a little more but are designed to resist known attack methods and will break apart if someone tries to remove them by force.
Be a good citizen
If you see another car with a number plate missing or with different plates front and back you can report it on 101, the police non-emergency number.
3 February 2017