OVER the last few days there has been a spate of thefts of number plates around Studley and Alcester.

Recent incidents include front and rear number plates stolen from vehicle on Bleachfield Street in Alcester, overnight on January 16 and 17 and front and rear number plates were stolen from a car in Kinnersley Road in Alcester on January 13/14.

A Black Honda Civic was seen in the area at the time the second incident took place.

Officers have been warning people as well as offering anti-theft screw packs.

A spokesman said: "Vehicle number plate theft is a national problem and has increased in recent years in part due to an increase in speed cameras, a rise in petrol costs and charges to use certain roads.

"Offenders have looked at ways to hide the identities of their vehicles so they can engage in criminal activity whilst avoiding detection. Number plates are being stolen from vehicles of all makes, models and ages."

They added: "How to combat it - non reversible screws have been developed to help combat this crime. The number plate screws are special one-way devices that cannot be unscrewed once fitted.

"Any attempt to steal the plate would require force, causing the plate to break. Therefore if the thief steals the plates, they are damaged in such a way that makes them useless for criminal purposes.

"Traditional number plates are fixed to vehicles using plastic bolts. If non-reversible screws are not available, it is recommended that double sided tape is used instead of plastic bolts. This makes the plate harder to remove and also may well lead to the plate breaking and therefore rendering it useless.

"When taking your vehicle for its next garage maintenance visit why not ask for your car number plates to be attached in this way?"

They said anyone with information about any thefts should call police on 101.