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Posts Tagged ‘stolen number plates’

High Security Registration Plates compulsory in India

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Registration plate theft not exclusive to UK

We’ve already blogged about registration number plate theft in the UK, and the petrol drive-offs and other criminal activities involved. And we’ve also covered the in’s and out’s of number plate anti-theft screws which could reduce the risk of this happening to you.

It seems that number plates are stolen for the same reasons elsewhere in the world. So much so that the Indian Government has decided to do something about it. They’re introducing the compulsory fitting of High Seciurity Registration Plates (HRSP) on all new vehicles, with older vehicles obliged to comply within 2 years. It’s likely the legislation will come into force around October 2011 – though no official dates have been announced.

These registration plates are being introduced because the current systems vary in different parts of India, and the letters are often manipulated. Making it difficult to identify any vehicles involved in illegal activities or accidents. The format of the registration numbers will be standardised, and authorisation will be given to selected fitters only. Which is pretty much the same as the system we have for registration plates here in the UK.

These special registration plates will be made of aluminium, and carry a chromium-based hologram to protect against counterfeiting. And then fastened with a non-removable-non-reusable snap lock. In addition to the registration plates fixed to the front and back of the car, there will also be a sticker on the windshield of the car. The sticker will also carry the hologram, which is destroyed if there is an attempt to remove it.

That’s serious stuff!

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment, or tweet us on @uknumberplates.

Find out more on registration plates of India.

Are all number plate anti-theft screws the same?

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Checking out number plate anti-theft screws

Hearing more and more about number plate theft, we’ve been chatting to the police about their initiative fitting free number plate screws.

Number plates are being stolen by unscrupulous thieves, who then use them for petrol drive-off and illegal parking or other similar offences.

Because you now need to present ID and proof of ownership when you have number plates made up, it’s a bit more difficult to get number plates. Which makes it tempting to steal them off the original cars.

Anti-theft screws are designed to stop the potential thief from removing your number plate and using it on another similar vehicle. Most screws can be put in using a standard screw-driver, but then can’t be removed because they have a special head which stops them being turned anti-clockwise. Some number plate screws are a little different – they have a special head which requires the right tool to remove them.

Anti-theft number plate screws are now available from a number of sources. So we felt we should check out 3 of the main options.

Ryders: these look like standard number plate screws, but head is designed to turn clockwise only. Which means once they’re in, they’re in.

Pluses:
- no special tool needed
- reasonably cheap
- supplied by some local police forces
Minuses:
- can only be removed by drilling them out

Signam: again, these look like other screws, and need a flat blade screw driver.

Pluses:
- no special tool needed
- reasonably cheap
- supplied by some local police forces
Minuses:
- these ‘anti-theft’ screws can easily be removed using a standard screw driver,

Richbrook: these screws have special holes in the head, and can’t be removed with a standard screwdriver.

Pluses:
- can’t be removed using a standard screw driver
- easily removed, without the need to drill it out
Minuses:
- the most expensive of the three
- tool can easily be obtained by a thief

Our recommendation:
I’d be inclined to go for the Richbrook anti-theft number plate screws – mainly because I seem to find myself changing my car registration number more frequently than most. And I really don’t want to have the hassle of having to drill the screws out every time!

Secure your car number plate for free

Friday, June 17th, 2011

We’ve blogged previously about number plate theft.

And we’ve also blogged about the police running events to fit free anti-theft number plate screws.
Tomorrow sees one such event at Tescos supermarket in Potters Bar.

The tamper-proof screws are easy to put in – they’re designed to go in one way, but are impossible to unscrew. Which means your number plates won’t be coming off again in a hurry, should a thief set his eyes on them.

The tamper-proof number plate screws can only be removed by grinding them out again. So if, for any reason, you need to replace the number plate (for instance if you buy a private car number plate) it’s a major job removing the old one.

There is an alternative design available on the market, which requires a ’special tool’ to remove the number plate. But the tool is quite generic, and there’s nothing stopping the thief from obtaining one of these tools and keeping it handy in his pocket. So I’m not convinced these would really stop the thief.

Just this month we talked about Leslie Taylor who stole number plates and used them to steal £500 of petrol.

Theft of car number plates is on the increase. The number plates are then put on another vehicle of the same model and colour, and used for petrol drive-offs and illegal parking – and other criminal offences. Leaving the original owner to face the music.

So, whilst the downside is the possible inconvenience of removing the number plate at a later date…. it can’t be as bad as having to unravel the possible consequences of having your number plates stolen.

Number plate thief caught stealing petrol

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

We’ve previously blogged about stolen number plates being used for illegal activities such as driving in bus lanes and petrol drive-offs, and landing the genuine owner of the registration number with a fine… or worse, the police knocking on the door.

51-year-old Leslie Taylor doing just that – stealing number plates from cars, putting them on his own vehicle, and outting them on his own vehicle before filling up with petrol. Then driving off without paying.

He stole £500 worth of fuel from 11 petrol stations, over a 4 month period. And would undoubtedly have carried on if he hadn’t been caught after a surveillance operation by the local police. Citing concern for his son (having split from his partner) as his reason for additonal travel and therefore the thefts, Mr Taylor was given 6 month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

As most of us know, number plate recognition cameras are used at petrol stations to guard against petrol drive-offs. But if the number plates are stolen, there’s no way of tracing the real thief.

Tracking down offenders clearly absorbs a lot of police time. So to help combat number plate theft, police hold public awareness events around the UK – offering to fit anti-theft number plate screws free of charge. We regularly retweet these when they’re announced on twitter.

Follow @uknumberplates on twitter to find out about police events to fit anti-theft number plate screws.

Police offer anti theft number plate screws

Friday, May 27th, 2011

The theft of number plates seems to be on the rise.

We repeatedly hear of police events offering anti-theft screws for number plates in the UK. But it seems that we’re not the only country experiencing this problem. Officers in Rosehill, New South Wales, Australia are holding an event next month to issue anti-theft (irreversible) screws.

Stolen number plates may seem like a minor crime. But they are used to clone cars, and then in various criminal offences such as petrol drive-offs and robberies… as well as speeding. And the genuine (innocent) owner can find themselves in a lot of hot water.

The anti-theft screws are self tapping, with a security sleeve that spins. The screws can be removed, using an allen key and a special adapter – it can’t be done with a standard screwdriver.

Kits usually retail at around £7.00 – about twice the price of a standard number plate screw fixing kit. But with the cost of a replacement pair of number plates at £25-£30, plus the hassle of proving entitlement to the registration number, it may be worth the additional upfront cost. Though in many cases, car owners choose to use the double-sided sticky pads to attach number plates – avoiding the need to measure and drill holes in the number plate itself.

If you are unlucky to find someone has taken your number plates, see our guide to What to do if your number plates are stolen.

Has this happened to you? Tell us about it.

Or hear what happened to a well-known BBC Radio DJ, whose stolen number plates were held to ransom

Plate Safe events to stop number plate theft

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Any car owners will understand that their vehicle is more often than not their pride and joy and just like anything else they own, they wouldn’t want any harm coming to it.

What confuses many is the theft of their number plates from the car. Especially if it’s not even a private number plate!

There’s no value in the number plate itself of course… and, although frustrating, can be replaced quite easily. So why would anyone steal number plates off a car?  Someone even stole BBC radio DJ Stephen Nolan’s  number plates, and in his case even asked him for a ransom! He was totally bemused, of course. And we have seen many many comments on uk number plates twitter stream asking why. More often than not, there is an ulterior motive that involves cloning your car and racking up motoring penalties at your expense.

Following a spate of numberplate thefts, police regularly organise car owner awareness events.

In order to combat the problem of number plate theft, special anti-theft screws can be fitted to the number plates. The screws may be fitted free of charge by police at specific events troughout the UK. These screws act as a deterrent to would-be thieves looking to steal number plates.

Have your number plates been stolen? Tell us your story…

Number plate theft is no minor offence

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Recently it has been reported that there have been a number of number plate thefts in the Calcot area so we thought we should address the issue and help you protect your cherished number plate.

Theives steal car number plates for a variety of reasons such as avoiding paying congestion charges or speeding fines, but with petrol prices so high and even rising, the chief reason for stealing car number plates is beleived to be to enable the driver to drive away from petrol stations without paying. However, they have also been used in much more serious crimes such as kidnap and robbery.

Since the spate of number plate thefts, motorists are being increasingly encouraged to fit either tamper proof number plates that shatter if removal is forced or to use tamper proof screws.

There are a number of benefits to fitting theft resistant number plates such as preventing people from being charged with motoring offences they did not commit. Anti-theft number plates can also prevent the vehicle from being cloned and then being sold on to unsuspecting motorists.

We at comparenumberplates.co.uk would recommend taking the advice of the police and get your cherished number plate fitted with tamper proof screws so you can hold onto it for as long as you want to. Alternatively, you can place your cherished number plate onto a retention document if you decide not to put the number plate onto a vehicle.

Stolen number plates held for ransom

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

BBC Radio DJ stolen number plates held for ransom

Firstly, let me say… this was real. It’s not a spoof. You could be forgiven for thinking this is some kind of April 1st joke… but I assure you it’s not.

It all started with the theft of the number plates from a car belonging to BBC Radio Ulster DJ Stephen Nolan. These are not personalised number plates – just standard number plates. Earlier this week, the number plates were stolen off Stephen’s car whilst it was parked up. Naturally, it became a major topic of conversation on his radio show the next morning.

Not surprisingly, the subject attracted a number of calls from Stephen’s regular listeners – offering their perspective on why the number plates were stolen, and where they might be right now. The most likely reason the number plates were stolen will be for the purpose of driving past speed cameras or for petrol drive-offs. And Stephen did exactly as should have done, reporting the number plate theft to the police as soon as he discovered it.

The calls claimed a variety of reasons for the theft though, including that Stephen was the victim of a stalker. The caller claimed that the stalker had stated “If I can’t have him, I’ll have his license plates”. But it doesn’t end there. It was followed by a woman calling to claim she was his only stalker – and that she was enraged, as she hadn’t stolen his number plates!

If that wasn’t enough, the calls became even more bizarre… A man called ‘Martin’ called to tell the DJ that he knew where his number plates were.

I know a man, who knows a man, who knows a man who knows where your number plates are.

he claimed.

I got a wee call this morning, from a man, cos he knows I listen to your show. And I was going to let you have them back for £150. But because you’ve been banging on about it all morning, the price is raised to £200.

The caller carried on to offer Stephen an alternative to paying the £200. And on it goes. You really need to hear this – take 15 mins out for a coffee… and take a listen. I guarantee you’ll be crying… I was!

Part 1:  Click Play…

Part 2: Click Play…