Bogus number plate menace
AT A TIME when child abductions and kidnappings, murders of women and human trafficking incidents are on the increase, it is disheartening to learn that there is a Volkswagen GTI out there operating with cloned registration number plates.
Not only are that vehicle’s registration numbers cloned, but there’s another vehicle – a VW Polo Vivo sedan – sharing the same number plates that has been impounded by the police. But even more puzzling, and of great concern, is the fact that the cloned numbers are of a marked VW Polo belonging to the Joburg metro police department.
How brazen can thieves get? Not only are they breaking the law but they are showing complete contempt for law enforcement agencies. If that can happen to official, marked vehicles of those supposed to be enforcing the law, what about ordinary citizens?
What is unsettling, though, is the fact that often, when news of criminal incidents breaks, people are advised to jot down registration numbers of vehicles used by perpetrators. That is supposed to make it easier for police to track the criminals, bring them to book and rescue those they might have kidnapped. But in instances where registration numbers are cloned, not much can be done.
As long as there’s a market out there, these operations will continue to flourish, as criminal elements will do whatever it takes to evade the law.
But while the JMPD ought to be applauded for tracking down one of the vehicles that had cloned registration numbers, the department, along with police, needs to deal with the root of this problem: crack down on those manufacturing these fake number plates and deal harshly with them.