Police are to put the squeeze on fuel and number plate thieves after launching a new operation across Bradford and Keighley.
Airedale and North Bradford Police are to ‘step up to the plate’ across the region in a new high tech drive to clamp down on both number plate and related fuel theft.
Officers equipped with automatic number plate recognition cameras will now be deployed at selected roads across the district on a regular basis as part of the campaign to monitor for cars carrying false plates.
Police will also be working more closely with petrol station owners to encourage them to make sure all fuel thefts are reported and to make sure they are using good quality CCTV wherever, possible to help identify offenders.
Finally, Police will also be stepping up efforts to better secure car number plates with a series of special events across Keighley and Bradford over the coming weeks to make them harder to steal.
Traffic and Neighbourhood Policing officers began the operation on Friday and stopped eight vehicles for a variety of matters, including the use of mobile phones while driving.
The operation itself has been launched by Police following a small number of reports of the use of stolen plates in ‘make off’ offences from petrol stations in Bradford and Keighley since January.
It is hoped that by stepping up efforts now Police and partners can prevent the issue of make off’s using stolen plates becoming a real issue.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Thomas of Airedale and North Bradford CID, said: “We have received reports of the use of stolen number plates in a handful of fuel thefts and are stepping up action with partners to target those responsible and nip this issue in the bud now.
“Having identified the key locations we will be deploying covert ANPR resources to catch anyone who thinks they can pull up on the forecourt with a false plate on the car in a bid to steal fuel.
“The cost of this crime is being passed on to the wider motoring public so I would appeal to anyone who has information about this type of crime to get in touch with us and help us put a stop to it.’
Inspector Wayne Horner of the Keighley Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “We will be working with partners as part of this operation over the coming week and stepping up our patrols in key areas to monitor the roads for suspicious vehicles.
“Officers will also be out and about in communities offering to fit safety screws to number plates for free and anyone who wants to take advantage of this service should get in touch.
“What I would say to those tempted to use stolen plates in ‘make off’s’ is that you are on our radar and we are watching out for you.”
For details of your local Neighbourhood Police Team and number plate fixing in your area visit them on the internet at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/npt