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Police in purge on illegal car plates.

Byline: By ERYL CRUMP

NORTH Wales Police are taking part in a crackdown on the growing use of illegal number plates.

The week-long Operation Larch, which started yesterday, is aimed at stepping up enforcement of current regulations.

Officers will target vehicles whose owners have customised their plates, either as a fashion statement or in the hope of avoiding identification by roadside cameras.

Superintendent Barry Jones, from North Wales Police's Operational Services Division, warned: "The operation will deal with vehicle registration plates of a non-standard nature.

"Over the years it has become popular to customise number plates in a variety of ways, such as making the allocated mark spell a word or reducing the size of the letters and numbers.

"This is an offence pure and simple.

"Registration marks are placed on vehicles for the purposes of identification and there are specific requirements relating to the size and colour to be used and how the plate is set out.

"North Wales Police are engaging in the operation and will deal with drivers who fail to comply with the regulations accordingly.

"Some drivers alter the registration marks to satisfy a fashion statement with others simply doing it to avoid identification." Mr Jones added.

"This is a worrying trend in this age of heightened security.

"I would ask the public to co-operate with us and if you have a non-standard registration mark on your vehicle replace it now with a legal one."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 29, 2008
Words:239
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