Tauranga South Community Patrol members will be out in force in part of Tauranga Crossing’s carpark this weekend.
But not for the reason you think – the group will be installing tamper-resistant screws to number plates for people wanting to lessen the chance of their theft from their vehicles.
Tauranga South Community Patrol secretary Maureen Kathan says the screws require a special bit to be fitted. “Replacing one of the screws on each number plate means anyone with designs on removing them need a variety of tools to remove the plates.
Maureen says, according to statistics, vehicle registration plates are often taken to disguise vehicles used in crimes such as petrol theft and burglaries. “Licence plate thieves often target vehicles parked in driveways and parking lots – they can strike anywhere, anytime.”
Tauranga South Police’s area response manager Senior Sergeant Carl Purcell says Police support the Tauranga South Community Patrol Safe Plates day.
“Although not completely foolproof, the use of the tamper-resistant screws do deter thieves from stealing plates.
“Thieves will now have to spend more time removing the plates. The more time they spend trying to get the plates off increases the chance the Police, community patrols and members of the public have of spotting the crime taking place.”
On Saturday, March 25, from 8.30am to 1.30pm, Tauranga South Community Patrol members will occupy part of the Tauranga Crossing carpark to add a tamper-resistant screw to each number plate on cars.
In return they ask for a gold coin donation to the organisation. Tauranga South Community Patrol provides an integral service to the wider Tauranga community helping to reduce crime by assisting Police with services including regular patrols at risk areas, providing accident and traffic management and emergency support services as required.
“Money raised on the day will go vehicle upkeep, equipment and training,” says Maureen, who says her group is made up of about 40 volunteers. “Last year we covered just under 15,000km and patrolled 2256 hours.”
Tauranga South Community Patrol chairman Graeme Mills fixing some of the safe plates to a vehicle.