To combat the increasing numbers of theft of car number plates, Tauranga South Community Patrol will be out in force in Tauranga Crossing’s carpark on June 11.
The group will be installing tamper-resistant screws to number plates for anyone who wants to lessen the chance of their number plate being stolen.
“There is a huge increase in the theft of number plates and cars across the Bay of Plenty,” says Tauranga South Community Patrol leader Maureen Kathan.
“People are stealing number plates, putting them on their own or stolen cars cars, and then doing ram raids and committing other crimes. That’s why the Police have asked us to do something about it.”
“Due to the huge amount of stolen plates that have been occurring this is being very much supported by the Police and they will also be in attendance,” says Maureen.
During the Tauranga South Community Patrol Safe Plates day, patrol members will be positioned in the lower car park opposite the BP Station at Tauranga Crossing, hoping that it doesn’t rain like it did last year when they offered the service but had to cancel due to the inclement weather.
Senior Constables Kurt Waugh and Rob Everitt from the Tauranga South Policing Centre with Tauranga South Community Patrol trainer Wayne Price. Photo: Supplied.
Maureen says unprotected number plates are easy targets for thieves, especially if parked on roadsides outside the owner’s property. As the price of fuel goes up, a lot of people use stolen plates to get some free fuel.
“They flog the number plates and put them on their car. When petrol thieves drive off without paying for the fuel, it is the stolen plate that is photographed by the service station security cameras.”
Although not completely fool proof, the use of the tamper-resistant screws do deter thieves from stealing plates.
“Thieves will now have to spend more time removing the plates. The more time they spend trying to get the plates off increases the chance the Police, community patrols and members of the public have of spotting the crime taking place.”
The patrol is hoping for people to share the initiative with their friends and family so that as many people as possible come to get tamper-resistant screws installed, and are talking to print, radio and social media to promote the day.
“Signs will also be around the area informing the public,” says Maureen.
Those who are planning to take up the offer are asked to make a gold coin donation to the community patrols. The Tauranga South Community Patrol provides a voluntary patrol in Greerton, Welcome Bay, Gate Pa and The Lakes and acts as an extra set of eyes and ears for police. They look out for any suspicious behaviour on the streets and report it to police for follow-up. Patrol members also run a carboot sale every third Saturday of the month at Tauranga racecourse to raise funds for the patrol.
The tamper proof screw event will be held at Tauranga Crossing in the lower carpark from 10am – 2pm on Saturday June 11. Tauranga South Community Patrol members will occupy part of the Tauranga Crossing carpark to add a tamper-resistant screw to each number plate on cars.
To contact the patrol go to http://tscp.org.nz