There has been a sharp rise in number plate thefts this year say police.
Since the start of the year, police say they have already received more than 75 reports of number plate thefts in the Cotswolds.
A Gloucestershire police spokesperson explained the rise in crime.
“There may be several factors behind this increase, as criminals often wish to change the identity of a vehicle they use to commit offences such as, selling a stolen vehicle, ram raids, burglary, avoiding payment at petrol stations, avoiding speeding fines or possible detection by CCTV,” a spokesperson said.
“Anyone who needs a genuine set of number plates has to show a vehicle registration document to a legitimate supplier, so stealing plates is much easier for the criminal.”
Police are offering advice to prevent people from falling victim to the thefts.
• Where possible park your vehicle in your garage overnight.
• If you don’t have a garage, park in busy and well-lit areas.
• Use safe, well-lit public car parks and look for the “Park Mark” secure car park sign.
• Use inexpensive security screws which can be turned easily using a screwdriver to fit them but can’t be undone using normal tools. These can be found online or at high street car accessory stores.
• Use high tack sticking products that prevent the plates being removed without being damaged if force is used.
• Use theft-resistant number plates which may cost a little more but are designed to resist known attack methods and will also break if forced off.
If your number plates have been stolen of you have any information regarding number plate thefts, call police on 101.
If a crime is being committed, call 999.