In a month-long campaign 60 Bedfordshire drivers were given a formal penalty for using a mis-represented number plate on their vehicle.
Depending on the circumstances, they received a fixed penalty ticket, a vehicle defect rectification notice or a police warning.
Officers from the ANPR Intercept Teams (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) and Road Policing Units of Hertfordshire Constabulary, Bedfordshire Police and Cambridgeshire Constabulary joined forces for the campaign, called Operation Dragon, which ran throughout March.
Number plates that are difficult to read correctly are illegal and make it difficult to identify vehicles that are involved in crime, for example, tracing a stolen car or a vehicle used in a getaway after a robbery.
As part of Operation Dragon, ANPR officers looked out for motorists with number plates that:
• displayed adjusted fixings or bolts which alter spaces or obscure characters to appear as something else
• used any font that is not the standard DVLA approved ‘Charles Wright’ font
• used offensive wording
• were not easily readable or recognised by the naked eye.
Number plates should correctly be made from a reflective material. Front number plates must display black characters on a white background and rear number plate must display black characters on a yellow background.
ANPR Manager in the joint Beds & Herts Road Policing Unit, Inspector Andy Piper, said: “ANPR teams across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire work hard to keep their counties safe and tackle criminals coming into these areas to commit crime.
“Addressing misrepresented registrations is a very important part of this on-going work. The month long crack-down across the three counties, when we specifically targeted this particular offence, will be repeated in the summer but is something we look out for on a daily basis.
“If you are displaying a number plate which is illegal, you will be pulled over and could face a fine of up to £1,000. I would therefore urge anyone using a misrepresented plate, or who is not aware of the permitted layout, to familiarise themselves with the correct format and change it as soon as possible.”
www.Premier-Number-Plate.co.uk – 0208 144 1715