Northamptonshire Police issue almost 1,000 fines for Illegal number plates in six years

ALMOST 1,000 people have been fined by police for driving in Northamptonshire with illegal or ineffectual number plates in the past six years, it has emerged.

The figures, released following a Freedom of Information request by the Chronicle & Echo, showed more than 150 people a year were being fined by police for breaking regulations.

Between April 2005 and March 2011, a total of 989 people were given fines, with the highest number of people caught coming in 2005-06 when 250 people were handed fixed penalty notices.

Fines have been issued to people driving with registration plates not conforming to regulations, driving without a licence plate or driving with plates that are obscured or indistinguishable.

Inspector Nigel Rickaby, specialist operations inspector, said advances in automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras have allowed police to crackdown on people with dodgy plates.

He said: “Northamptonshire Police continue to enforce the relevant legislation for those drivers whose vehicles are not displaying the correct registration markings. Advances in technology such as ANPR cameras allow the police to identify people in vehicles who may be or have committed crimes so individuals who try to defeat this approach should expect to be targeted and prosecuted.

“A number of changes have been made to the legislation in recent years such as letter size, spacing and the illegal use of screw cap covers to present the wrong registration mark.”

It is illegal to rearrange licence plate numbers to make them look like names or words or to alter the plate in any manner that makes the vehicle registration number difficult to read or identify.

A spokesman for the DVLA added: “If the cheap number plate is not displayed correctly, the police can issue fixed penalty fines and offenders could face a maximum fine of £1,000.

“Also vehicles with illegally displayed registration numbers may fail the MoT test.

“When DVLA is notified that a registration number is not being displayed correctly we will write to the vehicle keeper and request evidence that the registration number is now being displayed correctly.

“If the vehicle keeper does not send evidence that the registration plate is being displayed correctly then we would consider withdrawing the registration number from the vehicle. – 0208 144 1715

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