Commuters on alert

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THIEVES have been stealing number plates from vehicles parked outside a Wigan railway station then using them on cars to pinch petrol.

Rail cops today announced deatils of crime-buster sessions they are organising to thwart further incidents at Gathurst station on the Wallgate to Southport line.

The British Transport Police are investigating several plate thefts at Gathurst over recent months and some of the stolen plates have subsequently been used on cars involved in vehicle drive-offs from petrol stations.

PC Dan Armstrong said: “For some reason thieves have been targeting rail users in and around Gathurst station and we are determined to challenge their behaviour and do what we can to make life more difficult for criminals. As part of this we will be holding two events at the station during the next week and will be offering motorists special tamper-proof screws which stop thieves from being able to remove and steal number plates.”

The first event will take place on Wednesday April 4 between 4pm and 7pm, with the second on the Thursday between 7.30am 9.30am.

PC Armstrong said that sadly there are some people who were happy to act in a criminal manner and make life miserable for others, simply to make money or to avoid paying their way.

He said: “BTP is determined to tackle this behaviour and the events next week are just one way in which we will seek to address criminality.

“Crime in and around the railway is relatively low, but there will always be a minority happy to turn to criminality.

“It is those people we will be targeting and while the travelling public can rest assured we will be stepping up patrols and will be out and about to take action where appropriate.”