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London's car cloning hotspots revealed

Published 20 August 2019

According to official figures, these are the worst areas in greater London for car cloning crime. has analysed previously unseen local Government data to show the number of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) being cancelled due to the car being a copy or clone of a legitimate vehicle.

Car cloning crime overview:

  • Official figures show a shocking rise in the number of cloned vehicles.
  • One London area has seen an increase of 697 per cent of car cloning over the past five years.
  • Metropolitan Police data shows that just 78 car cloning offences were investigated in 2018.

Top 10 car cloning hotspots in London

  London Borough Council  Number of PCNs cancelled in 2018/19 due to the car being a clone
1 Hackney 1160
2 Haringey 842
3 Barking & Dagenham 804
4 Waltham Forest 654
5 Ealing 503
6  Brent  410
7  Camden 386
8  Westminster  379
9  Harrow  350
10  Lambeth   306

Is car cloning on the rise? compared the number of PCNs being cancelled in 2018/19 (April - March) to see how it compared with data for the past five years.

London areas with the largest annual increase in PCNs being cancelled due to cloning

   London Borough Council  Increase in PCNs being cancelled in 2018/19 compared with 2017/18
1 Harrow 91%
2 Waltham Forest  88%
3 Barnet 73%
4 Lambeth  61%
5 Hackney 43%

Car cloning crime change over the past five years

  London Borough Council  Increase in PCNs being cancelled since 2014/15
1  Waltham Forest   697%
2  Westminster  434%
3  Harrow   422%
4  Wandsworth  340%
5  Hackney  282%

Number of car cloning offences investigated by the Met Police 

Calendar year 

Number of car cloning offences investigated by the Metropolitan Police

2018 78
2017 54
2016 32
2015 31
2014 29


BrendanP    on 20 August 2019

Judging by the numbers of illegal number plates I see on the road, it looks like the police simply don't care about enforcing number plate regulations, or if they are, there are simply too few of them out on patrol to spot offenders.

If drivers were stopped and given 6 points and £1000 fine for non-compliant number plates, maybe this would be a deterrent. If the use of cloned plates to avoid getting a PCN is the intention, the penalty has to be substantially higher than the PCN.

   on 20 August 2019

Frankly it is amazing that the number of cloned cars is not far higher! With 10s of thousand number plate outlets let alone 'on line' it is patently obvious that those with the inclination can easily avoid any system which uses the number plate as the key identifier. .

rcdbasher    on 20 August 2019

The offenders clone cars to avoid all costs, driving license, insurance, speeding and driving offences as well as at times fuel payment and car purchase payments basically just criminals

   on 21 August 2019

The government and the DVLA have brought this upon themselves by introducing laws that are dishonest and rip off the motorist left right and centre. It is these corrupt and dishonest laws that have promoted such activities as cloning. The government and the DVLA are indeed the offenders because if they were to be honest and fair in thier taxations and not steal money off drivers by refusing to refund road taxes when a vehicle has been taken off the road, then it would not promote the activity that is going on. Road tax duplication when driving abroad is another one of the scams operated by the government in which the DVLA UK and EU member states have created road tax duplications and deliberately refuse to refund the money overpaid. Huge import duties and taxes to re register a vehicle to another member state is another extortion racket as there is no such need to re register with todays technology. The list of such extortion rackets run by the law makers is almost without end. In short the authorities that are the real criminals and they operate on a massive scale. People need to look further than the end of thier noses to see why this sort of activity goes on.

DeadBat    on 21 August 2019

Couldn't agree more. I see at least a couple of illegal plates on my weekly commute.

Why DVLA allows third party shops to supply plates. You're only a few clicks away from getting a new set from one of the online shops that are based outside UK. How DVLA allowed this to happen?

John of Gloster    on 21 August 2019

Just one negative facet within an ever wider ranging many, not the few now in our Capital City. Maybe not unrelated. The place is now regarded by many folks as Londonistan. Far too many "modern" Londoners have their own version of the word legal. Double, treble or quadruple the boys in blue on the Capital's Streets, will not make much difference.

Corruption and crime is a way of life for far too many. It did not used to be like that. Those we entrust to the Nation's well being have failed us miserably with their distorted, failing and lop sided agenda still ongoing and seem determined to continue doing so.

London born and bred, If someone offered me a million of our hard to come by quids to spend the rest of my days there I would decline. Hateful place now.

philthunder    on 22 August 2019

I seems you are lucky to se illegal plates, up here in West Midlands there are loads of cars with no plates at all, and nothing gets done about them.

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