Number plate theft in Sunbury and the Macedon Ranges is on the rise, according to new figures.

Statistics from the Crime Statistics Agency show number plate thefts in Sunbury have increased to 131 in the 2017-18 reporting period, up from 90 recorded offences the previous year.

There were 74 number plate thefts in the Macedon Ranges during 2017-18, up from 56 the previous year.

Sunbury Sergeant Joe Aiello said he was concerned about number plate theft throughout Sunbury and the state.

“It’s a common problem we have here … it’s just one of the things that people need to be vigilant about,” Sergeant Aiello said.

“We have a program here at the police station where people can have number plates fixed on their vehicles with screws free of charge so their number plates can’t be removed… so if there is anything to make it difficult, it’s always good.

“Parking vehicles in locations that are well lit will reduce the temptation to break in to a car … parking vehicles in their garage is better than on the street.

“It’s something that is an issue across the state and what impacts it is pretty much how people look after their vehicles.

“In locations where it’s hard for people to see what’s going on … people take the opportunity to take number plates.”