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Screwing the Number Plate Criminals

June, 17 2008


Dewsbury people have been nominated for a crime prevention award following a local Police-led initiative to cut number plate theft.

Dewsbury residents, who belong to the most active Neighbourhood Watch Association (covering 150,000 households in the West Yorkshire area), have been nominated for their work towards community safety, including campaigns such as 'Screw It Or Lose It', which advocates protecting vehicle identity using secure number plate screws.

Screws are not the only solution to number plate crime - there have been other attempts to prevent car registration fraud.

The DVLA, the Police, and number plate manufacturers, have worked together to develop a plate material that will safeguard acrylic number plates when on the vehicle. The plate shatters when tampered with, making it impossible for criminals to remove.

Such advances in technology are welcome, as number plate crime becomes more and more prevalent. But each time a new technology is enforced, it would seem criminals develop a new way to circumvent it.

Stolen number plates are used to get around the London congestion charge and other toll roads. Most of these road systems use Automatic Number Plate Recognition to scan number plates and trace the driver connected to the vehicle. Criminals use stolen number plates to avoid fines and charges by disguising the true identity of the vehicle.

All this amounts to an estimated 30,000 number plate thefts each year – of which 10,000 are forecourt crimes (source:

But why steal a number plate? Why not just get a set made? National Numbers asks that all customers of acrylic plates provide their driver number and the first four digits of their document reference number from section D of the vehicle's V5 logbook. This combination matches the registered keeper to the vehicle and prevents fraudulent orders.

If you're looking to have acrylics made, a simple way to protect your acrylic number plates is to use a number plate lock kit, which can be bought cheaply from car outlets.

Or, if you need number plates for your vehicle, browse our easy-to-use acrylic number plates web site, or call 01642 363738 to speak to us about acrylics or securing your number plate.

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