Derbyshire stolen number plates link to fuel thefts
Police in Derbyshire are offering number plate security after a rise in the number of stolen plates which are then used by petrol thieves.
Thieves attach the plates to their own vehicle to avoid detection when they leave forecourts without paying.
Between April 2010 and March this year, there were 245 plate thefts in Derby, South Derbyshire and Erewash.
This compared to 182 for the same period the previous year. Police said they wanted to raise awareness.
As part of an operation to target the thefts, police have teamed up with the Derby Crime Prevention Team to fit free clutch screws.
These securely attach number plates to vehicles and make it virtually impossible to remove them without shattering the plate.
Det Sgt Kam Sanghera said: "The main thing we want to do is raise people's awareness about the problem.
"There is no definitive answer as to why the number of crimes has increased but we believe that many stolen plates end up being used in crime such as theft of fuel from petrol stations, or burglaries."