Tamperproof numberplates are here

01 June 2006

  • Numberplate theft a large-scale problem
  • Thieves use stolen plates to dodge fines and fees
  • New numberplates break apart when removed

Tamperproof numberplates are now being used to prevent numberplate theft

New anti-theft number plates which fall apart if criminals try to steal them have been unveiled.

The new plates make it impossible for criminals to remove intact registration numbers from cars and use them to commit offences under a false identity.

Latest figures from the police show 33,000 number plates were stolen in 2004, although many more thefts are thought to go unreported. Criminals can use the plates to sell on stolen cars and conceal their true identity so they can avoid parking tickets, speeding fines and congestion charges.

Transport minister Stephen Ladyman said: 'These new plates will help to reduce the number of innocent drivers who receive fines for something they did not do and who have the stress of proving their innocence.'

To comply with a new industry standard, anti-theft plates must resist theft for at least three minutes and break into a number of different sections if they are removed. The first of the new plates, made by Hills Numberplates, will be available from the end of July.

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