Most vehicle crime statistics focus on the theft of vehicles themselves, or belongings in the car.
Apparently it takes as little as 10 seconds for an experienced operator to steal something from your car and the common sense advice is to make sure our cars and vans are locked, with any valuables stored out of sight, whenever the vehicle is unattended.
Theft of or from vehicles increased by 8% last year, more than any other year in recent history.
(Source: Office for National Statistics)
Because car security has improved over the years, so thieves have become more innovative in the way they operate. To circumvent the security system of the vehicle they now attempt to steal the keys from the car owner’s house. Cars may even be stolen to order, with top of the range luxury vehicles and sports cars being most sought after. It is not only the car itself that is of interest, but also but also things attached to it, like badges, wheels and even number plates.
Making number plate theft more difficult
The prevalence of CCTV and ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) in public places, most major (and many minor) roads, means that there’s a clear trail for most vehicles, showing where they’ve been and when.
These days, it’s very difficult to get “fake plates” so number plates are often stolen to support other criminal activity, e.g.
• Joy-riding, ram-raiding or burglary
• Evading the police following criminal activity
• Driving without road tax, a license or insurance
• Petrol theft
• Changing the car’s identity to facilitate a sale
Theft of number plates has doubled in the last 5 years (source: The AA) and it doesn’t matter whether your vehicle is old or new, basic or luxury, your number plates could be tempting to someone. If your plates are stolen and used in any type of crime, that could add up to a lot of aggravation, because the registered owner is the first port of call for the investigating authorities. Not to mention the fact that you’ll need to go out and replace your plates.
It’s in everyone’s interest to make number plate theft as difficult as possible and that’s where we at Fastenright can help.
Number Plate Security Screws
Part of the problem is the ease with which number plates can be removed. Usually just removing four screws means the number plate can be taken off and used elsewhere, so the answer is to fit tamper resistant screws to replace the original fittings.
A number plate security screw is a one way fixing, which means it can be screwed in but cannot be unscrewed. This is achieved by what is known as a clutch head, where the screwdriver only engages with the head of the screw in one direction and has no effect when turning the opposite way. Made from stainless steel, this type of screw is corrosion resistant as well and coloured cover caps are normally available to match the number plate design.
We have been delighted to supply number plate security screws to several of the UK’s police forces, where they have initiatives in place to supply tamper resistant screws to motorists in an effort to cut down on number plate theft.