New ANPR technology rolled out

A new generation of automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) cameras are being rolled out across North Yorkshire as part of a £1 million investment to catch travelling criminals.

Sep 3, 2015
By Paul Jacques
Chief Constable Andy Marsh

A new generation of automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) cameras are being rolled out across North Yorkshire as part of a £1 million investment to catch travelling criminals.

The cameras use the very latest technology that produces enhanced images and the ability to capture distinguishing marks on a vehicle.

North Yorkshire Police is the first force in the UK to use this model of ANPR camera. It follows the introduction of its state-of-the-art ANPR hub in May (see PP456).

The new cameras are moveable and will be used by local police teams to tackle crime issues in their area. For example, if an area is experiencing a spate of burglaries, the local policing team can request ANPR cameras in that area to help disrupt the criminal activity and bring the offenders to justice. The cameras can then be moved to another location once that issue has been resolved.

The use of these ANPR cameras is strictly controlled and their deployment adheres to the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s code of practice.

Each request for a moveable camera will be scrutinised by a panel of police officers and staff and will be granted only if there is a specific and pressing need. Their deployment will also be subjected to regular reviews to ensure it still adheres to the code of practice.

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

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, the national lead for ANPR, explained: “With the rollout of these new cameras we are exploiting the latest technology to protect the people and communities of North Yorkshire.

“We need to be one step ahead of criminals who use the roads to carry out their illegal activity.

Together with the introduction of our dedicated ANPR hub, these new, moveable cameras will allow us to work smarter and more proactively to intercept criminals.

“This is the first phase, which will see 20 re-deployable cameras available to neighbourhood policing teams to tackle crime in their areas. More will follow over the coming months.”

The move to expand ANPR is part of the new Operational Policing Model, North Yorkshire Police’s major project to deliver the police and crime commissioner’s (PCC) policing plan and ensure that the force is effective and sustainable in the face of current and future policing and financial challenges.

PCC Julia Mulligan added: “The investment in ANPR capability is a central part in our goal to keep North Yorkshire as one of the safest counties in England.

The £10 million overall investment in technology will make North Yorkshire Police officers more mobile than ever before, and the focus on ANPR specifically means the police are now better able to track and disrupt travelling criminals who are intent on causing harm in our communities, especially in our rural areas.”

The multi-million pound investment in technology includes the rollout over the coming months of handheld mobile devices for officers and a specialist deployment system that can pinpoint where resources are at any one time to further improve efficiency and performance.

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