AB 1 Number Plate Sells For 160k
Paul West, who retired from the force in 2011, was the last chief constable to use the number plate AB1 on his car.
Last month it was revealed that West Mercia police and crime commissioner John Campion had put the registration number up for sale to raise money for police funds.
Mr Campion said the plate had not been used for six years for security reasons, and said the force was unlikely to use it on any of its cars in future.
But the decision to sell the number sparked an angry backlash from several former police officers, including Alan Matthews, who launched a petition against the sale
Mr Matthews' online petition attracted 895 supporters.
Mr Campion said he hoped the sale to Mr West, who planned to keep the number plate in the force area, and work with other former colleagues to raise awareness about its history, would reassure those concerned about the sale.
AB1 was the first number plate to ever be issued in Worcestershire and was used by chief constables for the area until 2011.
Mr Campion said: “The local history of AB1 was always secure come what may, but sadly it was clear we were never going to see it in use again.
“This sale achieves a significant amount of money towards policing our communities and keeping people safe. It also means AB1 retains a good link with West Mercia’s policing family and remains a part of the local landscape”.
Mr West, 59, served as chief constable for eight years.
He said: “I am well aware of the acute financial pressures being faced by the police service at present, so whilst it’s not a decision that I would have wanted to make, I completely understand why the commissioner chose to sell an asset like this, especially when it had been out of use for so long. "However, my family and I didn’t want AB1 simply to be lost to somebody with no connection to policing or to Worcestershire and never to be seen again.”
“I do intend to use the number plate on a car and am committed to keeping AB1 in Worcestershire during my lifetime. I
"I’d also like to make sure that its story remains accessible to local communities.
"I am planning to work with several former colleagues who had an even longer association with AB1 than I, to create some historic displays about the number plate’s unique history, which we intend to offer to local museums and libraries in Worcestershire.”
How much similar registration plates have sold for recently and in the past: it is always worth looking at what has been going on in the private registration plate market recently to add extra weight to the valuation of your own number plate. It is a market that is not immune from trends, so keep a close eye on what has been selling well and see if your plate has any similar features
The age of the plate: older plates tend to attract higher prices and dateless number plates (the first ones ever issued) normally call for the highest prices on the market
The plate’s rarity: if a lot of similar registration plates were issued, your plate may be less valuable. So, the relative rarity of older, dateless number plates makes them more valuable, as a whole, than newer, dated plates. Similarly, having a private plate with a word or name spelled out on it gives it a degree of rarity that would raise its value.
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