Motorcycle Community London's Motorcycle Community
Est. 2004

Is there any free way to check number plates reported stolen?

Not just the number plate, but the vehicles attached to them.

It is probably nothing, but a couple scooters have appeared parked up in a private car park. Could be nothing, could be a new resident, could be someone just not wanting a parking ticket.

I thought I would do a quick check to make sure they were not reported stolen and temporarily dumped. But it seems the only way to do that is by paying one of those services aimed at buyers.

Is there really no free way to see if something is stolen, other than by knowing the VIN?

I did a search on Twitter and Google, and nothing. So it probably is me just being overly-suspicious. But would have been nice to be able to easily confirm that properly without having to pay or waste everyone’s time by checking with the police directly.

Ring the police on 101 and report them as suspicious activity.

They’ll send along a squad car at some point who’ll check the chassis number. If it’s legit then they’ll put a police aware sticker on it.

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That is the thing, surely it is in the best interest of police to allow free access to their database to save their own time.

Anyway, the fancier one has now gone, and the rider seemed a legitimate visitor. The other has a chain on, which I guess a thief would not do.

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You enter the registration and it shows MOT and tax and shows what vehicle it should be attached too, colour etc. Doesnt help with regards to whether stolen but if they have put false plates on it should show

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When a mates bike was stolen, it was found chained up.


access to a vehicles database would give you access to the address it kept at the owners name & so on
would you like that freely available

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@RobJones That link was great, thanks. There are plenty of sites offering reports like that but all the ones I saw you have to pay to see whether something is reported stolen. But that one seems to tell you if you just sign up for free.

@Wise There are already plenty of sites, like the one above, which access the database to show whether a vehicle is reported stolen for a fee. Do they also give the keeper names and addresses too?

All the police need to do is build a front end where you enter a number plate to check if it is reported stolen, and then a back end which checks the database and returns only a yes or no.

While I am sure there is various design and validation bureaucracy to go through, you could easily knock something up in under an hour.

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I love your optimism.
Absolutely nothing can be done in Government in an hour.

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I would hope more than an hour is spent on anything access a sensitive database!

But the technical requirements for a bit of SQL and a form element is extremely basic. No need to expose names and addresses.

As I said, I like your optimism! To think you can can connect a web-form on the Internet to a database that’s not on the Internet :slight_smile: (these kind of systems are complex and well protected, for quite obvious reasons).

I would hope no databases are on the internet! But this is a database that already provides some kind of public access API as it already used by private companies.

If only your parents had the foresight to send you to the proper schools. You’d have made friends with a Tory minister or two, with whom you could raise the subject. They’d then happily bung you £37 billion of tax-payers money to create such an app…