New ANPR hub in North Yorkshire targets cross-border criminals

North Yorkshire Police has opened a new automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) hub as part of its £1 million hi-tech investment programme to tackle ‘travelling’ criminals.

May 20, 2015
By Paul Jacques

North Yorkshire Police has opened a new automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) hub as part of its £1 million hi-tech investment programme to tackle ‘travelling’ criminals.

The ANPR hub is based in the force control room and will be manned by dedicated staff who will monitor and assess real-time information relating to vehicles identified as being connected to criminality and compile intelligence about their movements.

This investment in ANPR also includes new, rapidly-deployable cameras, more mobile cameras, fixed-site cameras and in-car cameras, as well as the fitting of ANPR cameras to some of the force’s mobile safety cameras and the introduction of a second road crime team.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, who is also the national lead for ANPR for the National Police Chief’s Council, explained: “This is the first phase of our programme to expand ANPR capability across North Yorkshire.

Traditionally, ANPR has been used to react to vehicles passing through, however, our new ANPR hub gives us the resources to use the technology in a more proactive and intelligent way. It is vital that we invest in new technology and exploit its benefits to help protect our communities and keep people safe and secure.

“The addition of ANPR systems to our mobile safety cameras gives us an extra crime-fighting resource to help disrupt travelling criminals. However, the primary function of the mobile safety cameras remains road safety and the targeting of motoring offences.

“Law-abiding people have nothing to fear from the increase in ANPR cameras, but criminals should take note that they are now, more than ever before, likely to be caught in North Yorkshire.”

The expansion of ANPR is part of a wider programme of change and investment under the Operational Policing Model (OPM). The OPM includes a series of projects to improve efficiency across North Yorkshire Police, with technology a major feature of the programme.

ANPR is already widely used by North Yorkshire Police, particularly in support of Operation Hawk, the force’s campaign to protect communities from travelling and cross-border offenders.

This latest investment will allow North Yorkshire Police to increase its coverage across the county with the ANPR hub gathering intelligence to proactively target and intercept criminals in the process of committing a crime.

North Yorkshire has 6,000 miles of roads and borders seven other counties, including four with the highest crime rate per 1,000 population. A significant proportion – around 20 per cent – of all detected crime in North Yorkshire is committed by criminals travelling from neighbouring areas.

North Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan said investing in ANPR capability was vital to keep the county safe, adding: “It means the police are now better able to track and disrupt traveling criminals who are intent on causing harm in our communities.”

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