Police and car dealers join forces to tackle bilking

A widespread campaign has been launched across the Midlands in an attempt to crack down on a recent spate of thefts.

Car dealerships and repair shops have joined forces with local police throughout the region to fit anti-theft number plate screws as standard to every vehicle they sell or work on, the Express & Star reported. Stolen number plates are often used in ‘bilking’ – the practice of fleeing without paying for goods, most commonly at petrol pumps.

Hives of criminal activity such as this always serve as a reminder for car dealerships and garages to ensure they have a comprehensive combined motor trade insurance policy in place; in an often-targeted industry, it is imperative that firms protect vehicles, parts and tools they have on the business premises against theft or damage.

Furthermore, this story illustrates the useful practice of implementing additional security measures – in this case screws that make numbers plates more difficult to steal – to tackle prominent trends. By proving they have these defences in place, a motor trader could bring down the cost of their traders insurance policy.

The West Midlands Police launched Operation Kadence in 2011 to tackle this problem. The force has said that although this crime has become less common over the past three years, it still receives around 300 reports of bilking every month along with 250 cases of number plate theft.

The additional cooperation with local motor traders, which will see them implement anti-theft number plates, is hoped to benefit both the traders themselves – insofar as it could protect their own goods from being stolen – and the petrol stations who are losing out on money through bilking.