The theft of car number plates has been on the rise, with thousands of them being stolen each year. These registration plates are then used to commit further serious offences, including:
Thieves are very clever nowadays, targeting registration plates based on the colour and model of the car they will be using, which makes it even more difficult to prove that you are not the one who committed the crime. Fortunately, it only takes a few simple steps to prevent serious crimes and save yourself the hassle of getting new number plates.
1. Secure your number plates with one-way, anti-theft screws.
One-way, anti-theft screws are easily installed using a standard screwdriver, but you cannot remove them unless you use a special tool. These screws are readily available in most hardware stores, but in the event that you cannot find some, you can use pop rivets and secure surrounds as alternative fasteners.
2. Park in a secure and well-lit area.
Police reports suggest that most registration plate thefts occur when cars are parked in residential areas or on a lane or street. It is important that you park your car where it will be difficult for thieves to access it. This could be a locked garage, off the street in your driveway, or in a well-lit area where other people can detect unusual or suspicious activity.
To reduce the chances of becoming a registration plate theft victim, you should also park in well-populated areas, keep the back end of your vehicle next to diving lanes (don’t pull through or back in when parking), and check your registration plate often to ensure that it is still there.
In the unfortunate event that your car number plate is stolen, make sure that you report the theft to local police immediately, as this can help police to recognise stolen car number plates and identify offenders. While car number plate theft may seem like a minor offence, it’s important to remember that your stolen plates may be used later as part of more serious criminal activity.
In addition to reporting your stolen plates, you should get new plates made up. This means proving that you are entitled to use that registration number. You will need proof of identity, like your driver’s license and your V5 log book.