Car number plates are becoming too easy to clone, the government has warned

Car number plates are becoming too easy to clone, the government has warned

Speed ​​cameras drive UK traffic motorists’ license plate fraud – Yevtony/IstoCfto

Motorists are being wrongly accused of crimes because it’s so easy for criminals to do it Clone number plateAccording to an independent report for the government.

Unpublished documents for the Home Office, seen by The Telegraph, warn that current control systems are too weak to stop criminals and unscrupulous motorists copying number plates to avoid detection by the country’s expanding network of 11,000. ANPR camera 100 million photos taken every day.

It said Thousands of innocent motorists A year is not only at risk of being wrongly accused of driving offences, but also of more serious offenses because of the ease with which their vehicle registration plates can be cloned to avoid police detection.

The report, produced by Home Office officials, the National Police Chiefs Council, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the watchdog, said. Illegal trade in clone plates Operated by 40,000 suppliers who each paid just £40 to register to sell number plates with the DVLA but who are largely unregulated and unlicensed.

It warned that small fines, which are rarely enforced, are failing to deter criminals, fraudulent suppliers and motorists from meeting demand for clone plates.

Counterfeit-proof plates are recommended

Recent figures suggest that around 13,000 cases of cloning are being reported in England and Wales each year, up from 4,000 in 2018.

The report made nine recommendations, including a major increase in fines, an annual licensing system for suppliers with higher charges for being registered, and restructuring of plates to include overt and covert markings to prevent counterfeiting and make it easier for the police. . Trace their origin.

The report was originally commissioned by Tony Porter, a former surveillance watchdog However, it was never published and is still being considered by the Home Office despite being submitted to them almost two years ago.

Professor Fraser Sampson, the current surveillance commissioner, is concerned that its recommendations must be implemented because Explosion on CCTV and ANPR cameras For the safety of the public, as well as incentives for criminals and motorists to use cloned or obscured plates to counter them.

County Line Crime Link

The report warned: “The impact of number plate cloning or alteration can cause significant problems for effective policing and have a detrimental impact on crime solving.

“This can lead to innocent motorists being punished for traffic offenses they did not commit or losing wealth where they have inadvertently purchased a vehicle that is not genuine.”

It added: “As law enforcement agencies become increasingly reliant on ANPR technology to identify law-breaking motorists, being able to identify cloned plates will enable police to identify vehicles that may be used in more serious criminal activities such as robbery, terrorism or other activities. Helps to make and disrupt. big crime

“One particular area that is growing is Use of ‘county lines’ As a means of moving drugs between regions, the use of vehicles plays an important role.”

£1,000 fine ‘not enough deterrent’

Currently, the maximum fine for cloning a number plate is £1,000. However, the report warns that the current regime is “not a sufficient deterrent [the fines] relatively low level.”

“Any approach to improving the existing regime must include stronger penal mechanisms and support enforcement agents to be able to pursue those who fail to comply,” it added.

“We therefore recommend civil and criminal penalties and simplified court proceedings to act as additional deterrents to encourage compliance requirements and limit more extreme actions.

“In addition, consideration should be given to whether greater use of ANPR and other visual vehicle monitoring systems could be used more effectively to detect non-compliant number plates.”

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