An 18-year-old cyclist was left with serious injuries after a motorist, driving a car with illegal “cloned” number plates, struck him in what police have described as an attempted murder and a “senseless act of violence”.
The cyclist was riding on Gore Avenue, Salford, in the direction of Weaste Lane, at around 4.30pm on Monday 30 January when he was hit by the driver of a white Ford EcoSport. The seriously injured 18-year-old victim was taken to hospital for treatment.
The following evening, investigating officers found the car involved in the collision abandoned on Cranbrook Road, Winton.
According to Greater Manchester Police, the car’s number plates were “cloned”, an illegal practice in which a car’s registration number is copied and assigned to another vehicle.
Number plate cloning, or vehicle identity theft, has often been used by criminals seeking to evade the attention of the police, by replicating the plates of cars with ‘clean histories’ – in other words, with no points or fines on their licence – and using them on their own vehicles.
According to a recent article by Auto Trader, the use of cloned number plates has risen dramatically in recent years due to the increase in the number of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras on the roads. The motoring website says that an increasing number of speeding or dangerous drivers have resorted to using cloned number plates to avoid fines and prosecutions.
Greater Manchester Police say they have contacted the true keeper of the plates in question, who they say has “no connection to this investigation”.
They have also appealed for witnesses or anyone with dashcam and doorbell footage of Monday’s collision to come forward.
“This was a senseless act of violence against a young man,” Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield of Salford CID said in a statement.
“We are currently following all lines of enquiry, and no matter how small you think the information may be, it could prove vital to the investigation.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Greater Manchester Police either on 101 or 0161 856 5049, quoting incident 2586 of 30/01/23.
Alternatively, details can be passed through the force’s LiveChat function or via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.