North Wales Police: "We've been misunderstood"

1 of 1

Police in North Wales have broken a promise to use discretion over number plates that don’t meet the letter of the law but are clearly legible – and the force is blaming bikers for the resulting confusion.

In February the force said: “Alternatives to prosecution will be considered in cases where the plate is clearly legible and it is clear that the breach of regulations is not an attempt to evade automated reading equipment.”

But nitpicking officers are still measuring registration digits with rulers. Darren Massey, 38, was fined over the number plate pictured after an officer used his ruler to establish the digits were 5mm too short.

Asked to comment, Supt Simon Shaw, head of road policing, said in written statement: "It is clear that some people have misinterpreted our change of policy and tactics and are under the impression that we are not enforcing road traffic legislation in relation to motorcyclists.“

Massey, a business development manager from Pentre Halkyn, Flintshire, said: “I had no idea the plate was illegal and would have changed it if I’d been advised it was. It was on the bike when I bought it."

For more on this, including Shaw's refusal to speak to MCN to clarify the force's position on plates, get MCN, on sale now.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell