Local businesses have joined with Barking and Dagenham Police to fight theft of number plates. In the last two years 935 reports of stolen vehicle number plates have been received by Barking and Dagenham Police. This means that more than one person, every day for the past 24 months, has had to deal with the inconvenience and frustration that comes with being the target of thieves.
Stolen number plates are often used to change the identity of stolen cars so that they can be sold on; to disguise vehicles used in criminal activities or to avoid congestion charges or speeding fines. Victims of theft can receive speeding, parking and congestion charges for offences that they have not committed – the potential for inconvenience is limitless.
While some number plates are stolen on a whim by a mindless individual who sees the theft as “fun”, you cannot take a chance if you find your plates have gone. The thief may have far more sinister plans for your number plates so please do report the theft to police immediately. Some thieves are particularly sneaky – they target the number plates they steal, based on the model and colour of the vehicle they’re attached to. They then attach the stolen number plate to a vehicle of the same model and colour – and that makes it much more difficult to prove that the person driving when an offence was committed wasn’t you. At the most serious end, you could even find yourself under suspicion for a hit and run killing, so do report any thefts very promptly.
Ten local vehicle garages have agreed to work in partnership with Barking and Dagenham police to protect local registration plates. The businesses have been supplied with screws and are offering to fit them free of charge to cars visiting them for a service, MOT or other maintenance.
The businesses in the scheme are:
Dagenham Ford, Ripple Road, Barking.
Motorfair, 1 Faircross Avenue, Barking
Boleyn Garage, 87 Movers Lane, Barking
RS Motors, 17 River Road, Barking
Tiger Motor Engineering, Unit 32 Barking Industrial Park, Barking
Boleyn Service Centre, 77 River Road, Barking
Motorised UK, 1144 Green Lane, Dagenham
Khan’s Autos, 722 Green Lane, Dagenham
Grove Road MOT, Grove Road, Chadwell Heath
Peter James, Bull Corner, Rainham Road South, Dagenham
JAS Autos, Freshwater Road, Chadwell Heath
•For more information on motor vehicle security or this initiative please contact your Neighbourhood Policing Team by dialling 101.