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Number plate thefts could see you facing charges for crimes you didn’t commit

Secure your drive to prevent car crime

An increasing number of people in West Yorkshire have found they’ve been accused of crimes which they were not involved in due to number plate theft. Criminals are stealing number plates and putting them on other cars to evade being identified on CCTV. These crimes include filling up at petrol stations and driving off, speeding and congestion charge fines and even ram raiding. It’s a simple way to get away with a number of motoring offenses and crimes.

Just as you would make your home secure, it’s important to secure your drive and outdoor areas where your car may be parked. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Security lighting – security lighting that is activated by movement or even a dusk til dawn light light would draw attention and deter thieves
  • CCTV – stealing plates to avoid getting caught committing crime on CCTV would be pointless if you get caught on CCTV stealing the number plates in the first place! Most would think twice about committing a crime where there is a visible CCTV system in place
  • Secure the number plate – check yours to see how easily it could be removed. Some can just be pulled off or unscrewed very quickly. If yours is easy to remove take additional steps to secure it in place – most won’t want to take more than a few minutes to remove it
  • Choose your parking spot carefully – if you don’t have a drive, park your car somewhere well-lit and ideally on a busy street where you’ll get passing cars and pedestrians, even at night
  • Choose your parking position carefully – if you can, pull your car up close to a wall, hedge or another car as this would make it awkward for anyone to get in to remove the number plate

If you are unlucky enough to have your number plates stolen then report it to the police and the DVLA as soon as you notice. This will help you contest any subsequent fines or charges should your number plate be used in a crime.