Technology beats traveling criminals

Northumbria has unveiled its latest high-tech weapon in the fight against car crime. Four unmarked cars, fitted with the latest Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, are being deployed around the county.

Jul 13, 2006
By David Howell

Northumbria has unveiled its latest high-tech weapon in the fight against car crime. Four unmarked cars, fitted with the latest Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, are being deployed around the county.

The equipment is being used in Northumberland Area Command as part of Chief Constable Mike Craik`s pledge of total policing to tackle crime and disorder at all levels, which is supported by Northumbria Police Authority.

In addition to the ANPR capability, the vehicles are fitted with the latest video recording equipment which enables officers to record crime scenes and other incidents.

Northumberland Detective Chief Inspector Peter Farrell said: “ANPR uses the latest technology in crime prevention. It is not about catching motorists breaking the speed limits but about denying criminals the use of our roads. This equipment, which has already captured 42,000 vehicle images in its first month, serves notice to habitual criminals that not only do we know who they are, but their vehicles are now on our intelligence system and readily available to police.

“Criminals are now more vulnerable, because when they take to their cars to commit crime and pass any of our ANPR vehicles or static cameras, an alarm is sounded and they will be stopped by police.

“Our vehicles will be deployed around the clock and the equipment is equally effective at night. This technology can detect vehicles being driven without tax, insurance and other documents. Disqualified drivers are automatically included from information given to us by the courts.”

The vehicles have already been used successfully after being deployed at the recent Hi-Fi music event in Matfen. Their use led directly to a number of arrests and enabled officers to gather a large amount of valuable intelligence.

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