War on number plate theft
Stealing number plates is getting harder for thieves.
Neighbourhood Support and police are rolling out the Safer Plates scheme in central Auckland which gives drivers the chance to have their number plate fitted with security screws at events being held across the region.
About 600 plates were nicked across the Auckland City Police District in the year to June.
Many of them were placed on other vehicles and used in petrol drive-offs or for other car crime.
Mt Roskill Community Policing Team Constable Alex Taua joined a team of Neighbourhood Support volunteers and the Auckland Asian Safety Patrol at a safer plates event in Lynfield.
‘‘Most people are not really aware that their number plates could be ripped off,’’ he says.
He did speak to one person at the event who had had it happen to them.
Many number plate thefts occur in car parks.
It can be a stressful event for victims, Auckland Neighbourhood Support representative Avon Lines says.
‘‘Most people don’t notice their plates have been taken until they get home.
‘‘Or they’re pulled over by a police officer on the way who tells them they’ve got no plates,’’ she says.
Number plate theft is not a new phenomenon, Inspector Hayden Mander says.
The safer plates initiative fits into the police prevention first strategy which focuses on reducing the opportunities for crime.
Tamper-proof: Auckland Asian Safety Patrol member Maysan Ardestani fits security screws on a car.