The number plates from a van belonging to Yorkshire Cat Rescue have been stolen from the charity's centre.

According to the RAC, more than 20,000 number plates are stolen in England and Wales each year. Typically, the plates are used on cars as part of criminal activities.

The founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue, Sara Atkinson, says she is concerned the charity could get into trouble.

“Number plates are clearly stolen because someone is planning to disguise their own car for criminal purposes such as fuel theft, burglaries or robberies. It is a huge worry that our charity’s identity would be used for something so sinister," says Sara.

She adds: “Any penalty notice or parking ticket issued to a car which is illegally using our plates, will be issued to Yorkshire Cat Rescue and we’ll then have to prove that it wasn’t us. This can be time-consuming and not at all the sort of thing we need to be spending our efforts on at Christmas.

“If anyone sees a car or van which is not featuring our logo, using the plates KY66 YVC, please contact us or the Police immediately."

Anyone who thinks they might have spotted the stolen plates can call Sara Atkinson on 01535 640470

The charity has now bought anti-tamper screws for its vehicles.