An investigation has been launched after a massive rise in vehicle cloning was reported, leaving unsuspecting motorists facing the possibility of being penalised for offences that they never committed.
After a probe by The Sun Online revealed that there has been a massive 156% rise in reports of vehicle cloning, the DVLA's enforcement team vowed to review the evidence which was presented to them.
Figures show that there were an estimated 90,000 cloned vehicles currently on UK roads, with 6,173 reports of vehicle cloning made to the DVLA between April 2018 and February 2019.
Other figures show that 1,652 Congestion Charge Zone penalty charge notices were quashed, with 204 new plates issued to victims of vehicle cloning.
However one of the most alarming figures was that there have only been 45 arrests made for the crime across the whole of the UK.
Registration plate suppliers are legally required to check a customer’s identity as well as vehicle ownership status before providing a new registration plate. It is a criminal offence not to do so, which leaves suppliers open to potential prosecution after the law was tightened up in 2003.
The Sun Online's undercover investigation team revealed that a quarter of the companies they visited in the London region were flouting legislation.
Vehicle cloning creates huge problems for insurances companies, petrol stations, local authorities and innocent individuals who then have to prove that they did not commit any given offence pertaining to the ownership of the cloned vehicle.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for ANPR, Chief Constable Charlie Hall stated that he believes vehicle cloning is considerably under-reported due to victims being unaware that their number plate has been cloned.
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Image Author: Sam Kelly