Car insurance: Speed cameras 'fuelling licence plate theft surge'

Monday, 19 June 2006

Car cloning is still a major problem in the UK, with some 32,000 car number plates stolen last year, figures reveal.

Criminals are stealing plates to drive away from petrol stations without paying, avoid paying car insurance and speed camera fines and dodge congestion charges.

Figures from 31 of the 43 police forces in the UK have revealed some 32,628 thefts of car licence plates were reported in 2005-06, compared to just 26,183 in 2004-05 and only 14,176 in the previous year.

But motoring experts claim the government's overuse of speed cameras and plate-reading cameras could be fuelling this increase in theft.

Drivers who get caught speeding can expect not only a fine, but a huge increase on their car insurance premiums as they struggle to find cheap car insurance quotes.

Paul Smith of Safe Speed told the Mirror: "We're all at risk from overzealous and unnecessary law enforcement. People have had enough and every year more and more step outside the system."

However, with the launch of new 'thief-proof' plates next month, the government is aiming to cut down on the number of innocent drivers receiving speeding fines.

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