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Car registration plate stolen every day in Northern Ireland, police figures show

Almost 2,000 car number plates were reported stolen in a five-year period
John Monaghan

A CAR registration plate is reported stolen every day in Northern Ireland, new figures have shown.

Police received almost 2,000 reports of stolen number plates between 2010 and 2014.

There has been a gradual drop every year since 2010, when 473 plates were reported stolen, to 323 in 2014.

The figures were released by the PSNI in response to a Freedom of Information request, seen by The Irish News.

More than 20,000 plates were stolen in England and Wales throughout 2014, and rates of number plate theft in Britain have more than doubled in the last five years.

The Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency has warned that stolen number plates are often used by criminal gangs to sell on stolen cars, evade speeding fines, and disguise vehicles used in raids or drive-offs from petrol stations.

A spokesman for the AA said: "We tend to find that plates are often stolen in rural areas and people think it is vandalism and don't report it to the police.

"It is not vandalism, it is a crime that can come back to haunt you if enforcement agencies come after you for speeding offences or petrol station drive-offs, and it can be difficult to prove it wasn't you. Our advice is to report a stolen number plate to police immediately."

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