It may not strictly be legal to drive around in a car with cloned plates, but if the police spot you at it there’s b*gg*r all chance they’ll do anything about it. This laissez faire attitude may help explain the cloning craze that is currently sweeping the nation.

Kenny Germaine of the International Association of Auto Theft Instigators (IAATI) – whose stunning figures we quote below – reckons the rozzers see them all the time on their ubiquitous ANPR and CCTV cameras, but can’t be bothered getting involved.

Cloned plates are great, Ken explains, because they allow you to do stuff like stealing petrol, parking illegally and speeding without getting caught. They also come in handy if you’re planning something like a spot of burglary or robbery or whatever.

We all know using fake plates is a little bit naughty, but traffic cops claim they have better things to do that pulling over every cloner they spot. And with thousands of new clones created every week, the task of taking them in hand looks more and more insurmountable with every passing day.

With around one in 12 vehicles currently sporting dodgy plates (an estimated 1,750,000 of them in total), experts predict legitimate plates could soon be an endangered species.

The complicating factor is that finding bona fide plates to clone presents a growing challenge to the cloners. We’re already seeing instances of inadvertent second generation clones, where once cloned plates are cloned unwittingly a second time.

Crazy old world we live in, huh?!



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