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UK: Congestion Tax Creates Plate Theft Crime
Number plate theft jumps from an essentially non-existent crime to a significant and growing problem after congestion tax introduced in London, UK.

Angie BrayLondon's adoption of a congestion tax system in February 2003 has created a growing market for stolen license plates. In the borough of Barnet, 435 plates were reported as stolen in 2005, while none were stolen in 2003. In all London boroughs, nineteen plates were stolen in 2003. The number jumped to 5492 in 2004 and increased 62 percent to 8763 in 2005.

"We had a suspicion that number plate crime was increasing because of the congestion charge," Conservative London Assembly Member Angie Bray told the Barnet & Potters Bar Times. "These figures clearly prove that. People are clearly seeing the value of stealing other people's number plates as a way of getting around the charge, and this is something [London Mayor] Ken Livingstone must address."

Source: Congestion Charge Blamed For Number Plate Thefts (Barnet & Potters Bar Times (UK), 2/11/2006)

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