Northamptonshire Police opens the doors on ANPR for National Surveillance Camera Day
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Northamptonshire Police will be marking National Surveillance Camera Day today (June 20) with an operation to showcase the benefits of the Police ANPR network by utilising the newly formed Road Crime Team to respond to vehicles of interest.
National Surveillance Camera Day is aimed at encouraging conversation and understanding of the role of cameras in modern day society.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition, also known as ANPR, is a technology whereby images of passing vehicle number plates are captured by a camera that reads the plate using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, before sending the data back to a central database. This is used by police forces across the country to help detect, deter and disrupt criminality by providing lines of enquiry and evidence in the investigation of crime.
ANPR Manager Jamie Culverhouse said: “Back in 2002, we were one of the first nine forces to trial ANPR and evaluate its potential as a day-to-day policing tool.
“Since then, there are now around 11,000 ANPR cameras nationally that submit around 50 million ANPR ‘read’ records to national ANPR systems on a daily basis. In Northamptonshire, there are approximately 100 ANPR sites that instantly capture vehicle data, as well as numerous operational police vehicles which are used to help fight crime and protect the people of the county.
“As a force, we find ANPR to be an extremely useful tool for locating wanted or missing people, tracking stolen vehicles, and vehicles used in crime at all levels, as well as tackling uninsured and untaxed vehicle use.”
Most notably, in a recent police pursuit of a stolen car, it was ANPR which alerted the officers to its location in order to pursue and stop it.
Historic ANPR data has also been used to secure successful convictions for victims, as was the case last year when two men were jailed for 20 years for the kidnap and rape of a woman. In this, the ANPR data proved instrumental in identifying the offender’s vehicle.
Sergeant Tony Payne of the Road Crime Team said: ”ANPR will be a hugely beneficial tool to the Road Crime Team. The technology already helps officers from across the force to achieve good results, and I anticipate similar results for the team.
“ANPR is a fantastic tool for making Northamptonshire’s roads safer by denying criminals the use of them, and as such we will ensure we continue to make the best use of it we can.”
Throughout the day, the force will be posting regular updates on social media about how the team are getting on with their targeted ANPR patrols.
To find out more about how ANPR is used in Northants you can follow them @ANPRNorthants on Twitter, or alternatively you can follow the Road Crime Team on @Northants_RCT.
To find out more about National Camera Surveillance Day you can follow the hashtag #CameraDay2019