Can�t figure it out? Neither can the victims

BANGALORE: Tampering with number plates to commit a crime has become commonplace in Bangalore these days.

And number plates in various styles, fonts, shapes, colours means victims cannot easiy note down the number.

The same goes for those number plates that are in the local language.

"Many of the complainants fail to note down the vehicle numbers which makes it difficult for us to trace the accused. Some say that the number plates were not clear or in the local language and was it difficult for them to note down the numbers", said a traffic inspector who did not wish to be identified.

There is no particular rule which these smart snatchers follow, but using a vehicle with tampered number plates is very common and operating in dim light either in the morning or late at night. A traffic constable clarified, "We do fine those riding vehicles with defective number plates and also on suspicion.

Though there is nothing wrong in having the number plate in the local language but it is certainly more difficult take note of the numbers , even for those familiar with the language".

One of the victims Shobha Murthy said, "My chain was snatched while I was on morning walk. I tried to note down the number, but they were written in a different style and smaller font". The inspector added, "Tampering with number plates is an offence which attracts a fine of Rs 100. The rules are the same for both Kannada and English numbers". Many criminals even use stickers which reflect with the light falling on it making it even more difficult for one to notice the number, added another police personnel.

Nearly 50,000 cases for defective number plates were registered last year. "We fine every suspicious vehicle.

CCTVs and interceptors are being used to send notices to offenders who manage to slip away," the inspector said.

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