UK Set For Number Plate Crackdown

Mon 9th Nov 2020

The use of illegal number plates is on the rise in the UK, forcing the Home Office to introduce new rules for all businesses selling plates to the public.

With cloned plates used in car crimes across the country, the surveillance camera commissioner, Tony Porter, has promised a crackdown on what he has called a ‘wild west’ trade in plates, with some 40,000 different outlets currently offering number plate services.

Current laws require those wanting to buy number plates to show their registration documents, but with many companies based abroad and seemingly exempt from the law, it is no surprise to find that two to three per cent of the 60 billion ANPR reads every year are thought to come from cloned or corrupted number plates.

Mr Porter is now working with the government on a backbench bill which will look to increase the penalties for those who look to clone a number plate.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Porter said: We have to look at what motivates people to clone a vehicle,” he said. “It could be serious and organised crime.

“Penalty charges for low emission zones of £12.50 may prompt people to consider cloning or defacing their plates, which are the ‘fingerprints’ of the ANPR technology.

“We need a much stricter regime with tougher sanctions for deploying licences that are not fit for purpose, certification to demonstrate they are fit for purpose much like what happens across the rest of Europe.”