Intelligent policing

Police forces across the UK are set to benefit from a new intelligence service currently being rolled-out by Lothian and Borders Police.

Oct 23, 2008
By Paul Jacques
Picture: MPS

Police forces across the UK are set to benefit from a new intelligence service currently being rolled-out by Lothian and Borders Police.

Lothian and Borders Police has teamed up with Northgate Information Solutions to deliver a new automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) analysis service that will promote radical improvements in policing and contribute to safer communities.

The eventual aim is to provide UK forces with enhanced intelligence gathering by closely tracking the movements of vehicles believed to be involved in criminal activities.

The public will benefit from faster incident response times, with forces able to prevent and predict crime and to bring more offenders to justice. The service will deliver:

•An enhanced ability to identify criminal activity that is associated with a vehicle or group of vehicles through hot-spotting and trend analysis of vehicle information.
•Closer analysis of high crime areas.
•Comprehensive and up-to-date police intelligence through joined-up vehicle information and integration with third party information.
•Increased public safety through closely monitoring vehicle movements, protecting both police staff and the wider community.

This contract follows the recommendation by Sir Ronnie Flanagan in his final report that police forces should ensure they are taking an entrepreneurial approach to policing in ethical income generation and in creating and exploiting business opportunities.

Examples of how the new service can be used include:

•Several robberies have occurred in a region – the service can be used to establish what vehicles were in the vicinity, allowing further investigations to be undertaken including direct access to the regional force crime and intelligence systems to establish what is known about these vehicles.
•An incident involving a vehicle has occurred and the police have nothing to go on other than the make, model and colour of the vehicle. Using the service the police can establish which registrations match with this make, model and colour and which of these have been spotted in the vicinity of the incident.

Ian Blackhurst, managing director of criminal justice and public safety at Northgate Public Services, said: “We want to give citizens and officers in the field the confidence that challenging incidents will be dealt with effectively and efficiently. The new service supports our total commitment to public safety and helps us meet the policing needs of our neighbourhoods.”

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