Tips to avoid number plate theft


RACV and Neighbourhood Watch Victoria are encouraging motorists to take precautions to protect their vehicles following a sharp rise in number plate theft.

In Victoria, 18,481 number plates were stolen over the 12-month period ending March 2024, a 23 per cent increase on the 15,009 stolen in the previous year following the release of the latest data from the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency.

Chief executive of Neighbourhood Watch Victoria Bambi Gordon highlighted the importance of addressing the issue and the wider implications of number plate theft.

“While having your number plate stolen may just seem like a low-level crime, the reality is it can have very serious ramifications for motorists – including the potential involvement in identity theft and criminal activities,” Ms Gordon said.

The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) reports that over 50 per cent of fuel theft and various other crimes, involve stolen number plates.

The top three local Government areas across Victoria for number plate theft, according to Crime Statistics Victoria, were Casey (1,351 number plate thefts), Greater Dandenong (1,127) and Hume (987).

“No matter where you live or how you use your vehicle, you can be susceptible,” says Ms Gordon

“It’s really important for everyone who owns a vehicle to take preventative measures to safeguard their number plates.”

Neighbourhood Watch and RACV work together to deliver programs that make communities safer, protected and more connected.

With the support of RACV and the Victorian Government, Neighbourhood Watch Victoria will be presenting 30 Safe Plate Day events across metropolitan Melbourne through to June 30, 2024.

RACV and Neighbourhood Watch Victoria recommend the following tips to help prevent number plate theft:

Use anti-theft screws: Install anti-theft screws on your number plates to deter thieves from easily removing them.

Park in well-lit areas: Whenever possible, park your vehicle in well-lit and populated areas to reduce the risk of theft.

Utilise security cameras: If you have access to security cameras, position them to monitor your vehicle and deter potential thieves.

Consider anti-theft devices: Explore the use of anti-theft devices such as locking plate frames or security markings to add an extra layer of protection.

If your number plates are stolen, it’s important to report the theft immediately to local police and VicRoads. You should also notify your insurance company and roadside assistance of your new registration details. For more information on how to prevent your number plates from being stolen, visit the Neighbourhood Watch Victoria website.