Ian, beleive it or not I have an "Image" to maintain re my business and my vehicles are kept nice and sparkly clean!
Obviously plates need to be seen, but PC Plod jumping out with a fine!
What a crass attitude, a polite word and maybe even a wipe with a cloth I'm sure all police drivers carry to maintain good visibility for their own cars.
Last week I did a 130 mile trip on the M25 and M1, I left with a clean car and arrived with a dirty grey number plate.
I guess PC Plod sat at the junction as I pulled off the motorway to the services would have you jumping for joy with a fine and points on my license. Or would you have us pull onto the hard shoulder and give the old plate a quick spit and polish every few miles.
Plenty of hit and run drivers have there numbers taken, I doubt that hit and run drivers premeditate there actions and never have clean plates, dirty plates are mainly a feature related to time of year and weather and I would assume that any thief stealing my van would have false plates for his vehicle and my van.
We had a not to bright subby who worked for us years ago, he later got nicked for stealing "road building plant" with hid flat bed. Dimmest bulb in the box but even he used false plates apparently!
A little education re starting a journey with clean plates is one thing, but jumping on the fine and ban them band wagon is another!