back to article Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner

A man from Bristol, England, lied to a government agency to get his hands on a private number plate reading "W1 DOW", a court has heard. In a hearing at Bristol Magistrates' Court, Miles Savory – director of Accident Claims Handlers – yesterday pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining the personal information of the plate's owner …

Anonymous Coward

"genuinely remorseful"

I doubt it being a director of an ambulance chasing business. Do they even feel anything?

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"I doubt it being a director of an ambulance chasing business. Do they even feel anything?"

Wallets ...

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"genuinely remorseful he got caught"

FTFY

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Switzerland....

Funny how another country can think differently... in Switzerland, unless the car owner has succeeded in going ex-directory, the reverse lookup is public:

https://www.ch.ch/en/number-plate-owner-details/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Switzerland....

Yes but Switzerland doesn't have a population that contains complete idiots that will go round someones house for cutting them up on a roundabout. I've seen plenty of people get out of cars ready for a scrap.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Switzerland....

But if you could do the lookup - when the complete idiot comes around your house you could dob them into the rozzers.... I rather bet that they wouldn't even get out of their car if they knew that they were easily identifiable

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dnj

Re: Switzerland....

With classic Minis and Landrovers, and many other classics too being stolen to order it would be very bad for the classic car community if anyone who sees a pic of your car on the Internet can then find it.

Often pics of classics are taken at car shows and meets by people who are not the owner and so they can't control where they end up.

The best number plate I ever say was BEG41T on the back of a Ferrari F40 about 25 or so years ago.

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Re: Switzerland....

"Switzerland doesn't have a population that contains complete idiots that will go round someones house for cutting them up on a roundabout"

Maybe that's because Switzerland requires all adult men to have a gun at home...

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Re: Switzerland....

"Maybe that's because Switzerland requires all adult men to have a gun at home..."

Swiss men between 20-34 performing their military service, have a gun at home, but without ammunition.

FTFY

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Anonymous Coward

Badgers should have number plates.

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Badgers should have number plates.

Why? They're already bar-coded.

(damnit, I'm sure we used to have a badger icon.)

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Why don't the police ever go after people who alter the design of their stupid customer number plates illegally so that they read slightly differently? Oh, because it makes them money,

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Anonymous Coward

Because they're too busy nicking people who have just bought a second-hand car that has apparently used the wrong font on the plate, even with perfect spacing, and which has been driving around another part of the country for several years without difficulty.

But the plod concerned was a Freemason, so no point complaining. Personally if I saw him lying in the gutter on fire I wouldn't cross the road to piss on him.

How to increase the popularity of the plods with the general public.

Me? Pissed off? Nooooo...

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Anonymous Coward

Not all cops are crooks

Let us say that due to leniency I have got away from two separate situations which would have resulted in:

1st one - 6-9 points plus a fat fine (with already 3 points at the time)(I was a bit of dick here)

2nd one - 3 points and possibly £60-odd fine (I was a bit unfortunate here)

in neither case I was lying to the police or trying to make them pity me.

So - don't tar everybody with the same brush.

P.S. I have never worked for law enforcement, either in civilian or uniformed role

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not all cops are crooks

So in your book, inconsistent enforcement of the law is a good thing?!? Justice?!?

It really isn't all about you.

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FAIL

Re: Not all cops are crooks

No it's called discretionary powers of the constabulary.

Would you prefer a constable to pull you over and having found that you are not on drugs or alcohol and apologetic, he lets you off with a warning or the officer that regardless how good your driving record is hands over fist full of tickets and the feeling the gestapo could learn a thing or two from him.

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Silver badge

"Because they're too busy nicking people who have just bought a second-hand car that has apparently used the wrong font on the plate, even with perfect spacing, and which has been driving around another part of the country for several years without difficulty."

Usually it's because the crappy ANPR cameras can't cope with any variation from the strict letter of the law in number plate design. Now that tax discs are gone, ANPR is how VED dodgers are caught so pretty much any number plate which isn't read by ANPR is seen as "suspect" and likely to result in a stop by any ANPR equipped plodmobile.

Non-standard plates have always been illegal, but when it was down to the Mk.1 eyeball, it was generally easily readable so they didn't bother with the minor offences so much.

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Flame

irregular numberplates

The law clearly states what the plates should be like.

If you just bought a vehicle, it is your fault for not asking the seller to knock the price down for the few ££s it would cost you to rectify the matter. You would if you thought the price does not reflect the expected repairs, don't know why you would be paying only to replace the numberplates out of your own pocket.

If you just bought the car and still waiting for DVLA documents, you can expect some degree of leniency if you are stopped for something as trivial as numberplates.

Six months later however if you haven't rectified it - it is your own fault for being a lazy slob.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not all cops are crooks

Ah yes, the infamous discretionary powers. So being a blonde bimbo or a black teenager would have no bearing on the outcome? LOL. Have you heard of white male privilege?

Arbitrary law enforcement based on which cop you happen to get on the day or which side of bed he got out of, isn't justice.

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Re: Not all cops are crooks

"Would you prefer a constable to pull you over and having found that you are not on drugs or alcohol and apologetic..."

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/728841/300-fine-woman-failed-fill-up-screen-wash

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Silver badge

Bah!

The UK plate system is idiotic and outdated anyway. The British idea of a "personalised plate" is laughable as a result.

The DMV should have realised the market for properly personalised plates years ago and begun a project to make it happen so it could be monetised.

And before anyone feels the need to explain, I understand how the UK plates "work", and the difference in the way they are allocated to that of the USA. I owned cars in the UK for over a decade and once could read a car's birth certificate (so to speak). I lost the skill when literally everything else became important.

There is no reason that plates couldn't be designed to convey the *important* registration info while at the same time allowing the freedom that US drivers have, should they wish to do so, to parade around with a personal message on their bourgemobile.

Personal fave: "DETHTUNG" on a Corvette back in the 90s.

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Re: Bah!

The post 1st September 2001 system is actually quite clever given what can be spelled out and the amount of business generated by it, whilst still being similar to the old system. It is claimed that the new system was designed to make it easier to remember registrations in the event of an accident or crime but if I was a suspicious man I would say that whoever came up with it had one eye on the custom sale aspect of it. I can't think of any other comparable European system.

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Re: Bah!

If you are downvoting the "DETHTUNG" thing, you need to google "Billy and the Boingers".

DETHTUNG doesn't mean what you might think it does.

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Anonymous Coward

"a private number plate"

Or vanity plate as they are more correctly known.

Both the bloke who wanted it and the bloke who has it are knobs - "W1DOW" spells "W1DOW" and nothing else.

It's just a sodding serial number. Do these people try and get a telly with a serial number that supposedly spells something? How about a fridge?

Sad cunts with money to piss away on frivolity.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "a private number plate"

You sound like just the sort of dickhead you're criticizing.

Are people only allowed to do what you think is right. Do you think anyone complaining about how you spend your money is correct? If not, what makes you think you can tell others what to do? Arrogance?

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Re: "a private number plate"

Oh dear Annon, has it annoyed you that someone has more disposable income than you?

Are you infuriated that someone has the audacity to spend their money on something you feel to be silly?

Christ, I can't imagine what you'd think if you looked at some of the things I've spent money on!

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Re: "a private number plate"

When I was courting, I was using my mother's 100E, but it just didn't cut the mustard as a passion wagon. I put feelers about at the college I was studying at, and soon found an old Austin Princess 3 Litre for the princely sum of £20 from one of the lecturers. After we were married and the Princess failed its MOT, we went to buy a new(ish) Vauxhall. My wife said she liked our old number plate, a second series (ie 3 numbers followed by 3 letters), so we transferred it onto the Vauxhall. It is now on its ninth car, my Classic Range Rover. This goes to show that you don't have to have large amounts of spare cash to own a desirable number plate, just be at the right place at the right time. As it happens, way back in the late Seventies, when the Third Series (3 letters, 3 numbers, and a Year Suffix) was approaching its end, the DVLA ran a competition to design a new system, which would consist of seven digits as previously and allow for more combinations. In the end they opted to simply reverse the Third Series (Year Prefix, 3 numbers, 3 letters), which took them up to the end of the century. I entered that competition and suggested a system which is almost identical with the current system, only the Registration Office letters have been changed from my suggestion. So, if as another commentard has stated, the system is ridiculous, I'm afraid that I'm at least partly to blame. (and no, I wasn't credited with the suggestion, nor did I receive any form of prize).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "a private number plate"

Looks like the puritans are out in force...

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Anybody who wants a personalised plate

should be banned from the roads.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anybody who wants a personalised plate

Why?

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Re: Anybody who wants a personalised plate

Anyone who wants to restrict what others should be allowed to spend their money on should be kicked in the nuts on the hour every hour.

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Re: Anybody who wants a personalised plate

Anyone who wants to restrict what others should be allowed to spend their money on should be kicked in the nuts on the hour every hour.

And the half hour too for good measure.

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Coat

Surgeon

Before I retired I used to walk the couple of miles into work. Part of my route went along the main road into town.

From time to time a sports car would go past with the registration TIB 1A. Yep, apparently a surgeon at the local hospital.

One of the people who worked there told me that the surgeons wife also worked as a surgeon at the hospital and her car reg was FIB 1A. I'm not sure if they were winding me up about that.

>>>>>>>>>>>> The one with the Stethoscope in the pocket

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Re: Surgeon

"One of the people who worked there told me that the surgeons wife also worked as a surgeon at the hospital and her car reg was FIB 1A. I'm not sure if they were winding me up about that."

I would guess so, because the bone is the fibula, not the fibia.

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Coat

Re: Surgeon

Wonder if the one driving around with LAB 1A was the local gynecologist.

Yeah, yeah, yeah I'm getting my coat.

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Anonymous Coward

So I now know from the article, roughly where Mr Bastow lives and his registration.

If someone else wants his plates they can probably run an electoral roll search, walk down his road looking for W1DOW and send him a nice letter asking for them.

Unless i'm completely wrong.

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If he's that hard up he should have gone for a pair of "romantic" plates like FULBA6 and ILBA9.

Assuming that works with the system or course.

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How do you *not* know what the system is?

The plate which is most EL reg would be TCP 1P

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Californican?

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only £700? chopping his gearstick off would be too good for him.

Im not an expert on personalised number plates. But i guess it would cost much more than £700 for one plonker to part with a plate such as this to another plonker who contacted him out of the blue.

I reckon this ambulance chaser is probably chuffed his "cheeky" attempt to get the details only cost him £700 and glad they didnt delve into "Accident Claims Handlers" business practices.

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Anonymous Coward

Does that now mean

the police can be fined for lying to suspects, or politicians for lying to the public?

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Parking charge companies

The good folks over at MSE claim to have a 99% success rate in court against private parking charges. As these charges are almost always thrown out will the DVLA begin handing over all of those requests to the ICO so these cowboy ex-clampers start getting hit by real fines (unlike their fake invoices)?

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Why didn't he just fill in form v888? Ok there would still have to be a slight bending of the truth to submit (err car was parked on my private charge you £30 an hour carpark), but getting the police involved for a simple DVLA form?

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NXM

Best plate I ever saw...

.. was PEN1S on a mercedes in 1988 in Royston, Hertfordshire. I don't think you'd get away with that now.

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Re: Best plate I ever saw...

PEN 15 floated around north London in the late seventies, on a Porsche, I think.

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Re: Best plate I ever saw...

The most laughable I ever saw was "CLA55Y" ... on a dung-coloured Ford Granada, of all things!

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Re: Best plate I ever saw...

GAV1N in the 70's in Huntingdonshire. Was on a luxury Ford Granada from Hunts Motors.

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