10 top tips to help
drive down vehicle fraud
MERSEYSIDE Police are reminding
anyone buying or selling their car to be vigilant and carry out some simple
checks to avoid becoming the victim of fraud, as we head into 2016...
The warning comes after a number of cases involving victims who have
unwittingly spent their money on cars which are clones of another vehicle,
and results in them losing thousands of pounds.
Members of the public should be aware that criminals can use false number
plates and alter out of date Tax Discs (Also note that Tax Discs are no
longer issued), logbooks, chassis numbers and other details to sell on
stolen vehicles, but help is at hand to highlight key danger signs.
Constable Graeme Watson, an Accredited Vehicle Examiner and part of
Merseyside Police Stolen Vehicle Squad, said:- "If a deal looks too
good to be true, it usually is. A car is the 2nd most expensive purchase
most people will ever make, and there are a few simple ways you can protect
yourself from the massive financial loss that losing a new vehicle can
bring. You wouldn't buy a house without doing research, and a car should be
no different." To prevent yourself from becoming a victim of vehicle fraud, take the time
to carry out these checks and save yourself what could be a catastrophic
► COVER THE NUMBER PLATE - When advertising a vehicle for sale,
always cover your number plate, either using photo editing software, or some
kind of towel or cloth, before taking any photo.
► CHECK VALUES - Compare values of similar vehicles for sale across
multiple different car valuation sites. If 1 car is several thousand pounds
cheaper than a similar age, make and model, treat this as suspicious.
► CHECK PLATES - Genuine number plates will have a dealership name
and address across the bottom. A quick Google search will show whether this
is legitimate or exists. Blank or incomplete number plates should be treated
► RESEARCH MOT HISTORY - This can be done using the Government's
► NEVER PAY IN CASH - There is no legitimate reason that a seller can
insist on a cash payment. Use secure methods of payment such as Paypal,
Apple Pay, bank transfers or credit cards.
► CHECK THE VIN, DON'T LET THEM WIN - A Vehicle Identification Number
(VIN) check will assist in determining if a vehicle has been reported as
stolen. Use the free National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)
► STAY LOCAL - Stay as close to home as possible when buying
vehicles. Travelling to an unfamiliar location can leave you vulnerable,
especially if carrying large amounts of cash.
► QUESTION MISSING INFORMATION - There should always be at least 2
keys, a legitimate logbook, and a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
V5 form, with a watermark. If not, why not?
► DON'T FEEL PRESSURED - If anything appears suspicious and you are
not satisfied with any details, look elsewhere.
► REPORT CRIME - If you have been a victim of fraud, contact:- 101 or
ActionFraud.Police.UK, the national fraud and cyber crime
reporting centre. anyone with information who does not wish to speak with
Police directly can call Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111...
Big leap in clean electricity generated by
RENEWABLEUK is highlighting
official Government statistics published recently show the increasingly
central role that wind is playing in the UK's energy mix. The quarterly
figures, released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, show that
in July to September, the amount of electricity generated by offshore wind
increased by 52% compared to the same period in 2014, while onshore wind
generation was up by 30%. In the ⅓ quarter of 2015, wind generated 10.5% of
the UK's electricity (5% from onshore wind and 4.5% from offshore wind) due
to higher wind speeds and increased capacity. Overall, 23.5% of the UK's
electricity was generated by renewables in Q3 this year, up 6% on the same
period last year. Wind remains Britain's leading renewable technology,
followed by bioenergy (10.1%), solar PV (3.5%) and hydro (1.4%). Coal's
share of electricity generation decreased from 21% to 17% and gas generation
also fell from 38% to 35% in Q3 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.
RenewableUK's Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith said:- "Today's figures
show that the wind industry is continually upping its contribution of clean
electricity to British homes, offices and factories. Wind energy is a
success story which the 35,000 people who this work in this industry in the
UK are proud to be a part of. Our main focus at the moment is driving down
the cost of wind energy even further, to help consumers. The more we
install, the cheaper the clean electricity we generate becomes. That's why
we're keen to see onshore and offshore wind continuing to play a central
role in our wide ranging energy mix. The growth of wind energy in the UK is
a cause for celebration. We're keeping the lights on, keeping cost to the
consumer down, and making sure we deliver on our climate change
Brake disappointed with
government's Road Safety Statement as a missed opportunity to save lives
BRAKE, who are a UK road safety
charity and campaign group, who have expressed disappointment with the
Department for Transport's over newly published:- 'Road Safety
Statement' (replacing its previous Road Safety Strategy).
Despite calls by Brake and across the road safety sector for stronger
leadership from government on preventing devastating road death and injuries
following a recent increase in casualties, the Statement fails to include
casualty reduction targets or a 'vision zero', which would
make clear that the ultimate goal is to reduce deaths to zero.
International evidence indicates that
targets help to spur progress in road safety, and increasing Governments and
Authorities (including:- Sweden, Scotland and London) are adopting vision
According to the
DfT's Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain Annual Report for 2014 the
number of people killed on our roads rose by 4% last year to 1,775, while
those seriously injured rose by 5% to 22,807 people. Overall
casualties rose by 6%, interrupting what was a steady downward trend since
110107. As national provider of support to bereaved and seriously injured
road crash victims (through a helpline and support packs part funded by the
Ministry of Justice), Brake is acutely aware of the terrible suffering
caused by every casualty.
Alice Bailey, campaigns officer at Brake, says:- "We know from our
work supporting devastated road crash victims that every death and injury
sends out shockwaves of pain and suffering. We also know from international
research and experience that there is far more the government could and
should do, to prevent these casualties and enable everyone to get around
safely and sustainably. There is some important recognition in this
Statement of what good practice in road safety looks like, and the fact that
road safety is an issue central to public health and sustainability and that
by improving road safety we can make economic gains too. Yet we're
disappointed that the government has failed to include casualty reduction
targets, an ambitious vision, or more decisive action on issues like young
driver safety, pedestrian safety or drink driving, all of which remain
Brake welcomes some aspects of the Road Safety Statement, including the
government's recognition of the importance of a 'safe systems'
approach. However, Brake believes the government could go much further in
implementing evidenced policy to ensure senseless tragedies on our roads
fall again, and everyone can get around safely, sustainably and healthily:-
► Walking and cycling; Brake welcomes the recognition that road safety is a
public health and sustainability issue as well as being about casualty
prevention, and the inclusion of protecting vulnerable road users as a
priority. However Brake believes the government should do far more to ensure
nationwide roll out of traffic free cycle paths, area wide 20mph limits, and
other measures to make roads more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.
► Mobile phones; Brake supports proposals for tougher penalties (4 points
and a £150 fine) for using mobile phones at the wheel of a car, but believes
this does not go far enough, especially as many 1st time offenders will be
offered educational courses instead. Brake recommends increasing fines to
£1,000, to provide a stronger deterrent, and for hands free phones to be
included under the ban, in line with research showing the dangers.
► Young and novice drivers; Government plans to make improvements to driver
learning and testing are not unwelcome, but research shows the introduction
of a new system of Graduated Driver Licensing; long recommended by Brake and
recognised as best practice globally; would be highly effective in reducing
crashes among young and new drivers. It's estimated it could prevent 400
deaths and serious injuries each year if implemented in the UK.
► Drink and drug driving; Brake backs the provision of funding to support
effective enforcement of the new drug driving law, but is concerned by the
ongoing lack of action by Westminster to crack down on drink driving, which
remains 1 of the biggest killers on our roads. Brake advocates a zero
tolerance drink drive limit to make clear it should be 'none for the
road'. See Brake's not a drop, not a drag campaign.
Do you agree with Brake, or are we going to far now?
Please do email your views and thought to us via our newsroom email
News24@SouthportReporter.com and let us
know what you really think about this issue!
Did you know?
Using a hands free mobile whilst driving can be more dangerous than drink
driving, Transport Research Laboratory, 2010.
► Graduated Driver Licensing; A regional analysis of potential casualty
savings in Great Britain, RAC Foundation, 2014.