Number Plate Crime Is On The Rise - But What Can Be Done?

Wed 10th Jul 2019

A new report has revealed that the instances number plate crime is on the rise, with 2018 seeing the highest number of offences in five years.

The research from Auto Express using Freedom of Information found that in 2018 there were 9,170 tickets issued for offences ranging from missing or obscured plates to plates not conforming to regulations. The most worrying incidence of number plate is cloning, which sees criminals take a perfectly legal number plate, most commonly found in a classified online ad, and then apply that number plate to a similar car. Plates can also be deemed incorrect if using an unofficial font, have improperly spaced characters or have coloured screws which change how a plate reads. Drivers are usually issued with a Traffic Offence Report or a Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme Notice, with a maximum fine of £1,000 the penalty if caught according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency who speaking to Auto Express said: “Our officers conduct intelligence-led enforcement activities to tackle a wide range of offences, to investigate and, where necessary, prosecute suppliers – including those who trade illegally using the internet.”

While there are some reputable and rogue traders on the internet, many of the irregular plates could be ordered legally from Jersey, which has different regulations to the UK on number plates.