Devon force divulges ANPR towns online
TV promo website spills the beans
Devon and Cornwall Police has published the location of some of its road surveillance cameras on its website, despite these normally being secret.
The webpage, which publicised the force's appearance in Crimefighters, a fly on the wall ITV1 series, says the force has Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems running in Torquay, Brixham and Dawlish in Devon.
This is in contrast to the force's response to a Freedom of Information request from Kable, in which it refused to divulge any information whatsoever on the location of its ANPR equipment.
The page said ANPR "allows officers to use CCTV to monitor vehicles and use their registrations to call up details of the owners on a huge database". The programme, which has already been broadcast, featured the work of different specialist units within the force including the traffic police.
However, in a Freedom of Information response to questions including the location of its ANPR equipment, the force said: "If the locations of these cameras were published, potential criminals would know where they are, and could bypass/avoid them or destroy them entirely. This would mean that the Force would be less able to detect and reduce crime on the roads."
A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said that naming the towns was not the same as saying on which road the ANPR cameras are located: "They are quite big places, and they could be anywhere in the towns, so we wouldn't have an issue with that."
The page divulging towns where the force uses ANPR had been removed during the last few weeks, although it is still visible through search engine caching services. The spokesperson said that it is down as part of a redevelopment of the force's website, and similar information might appear in future.
This article was originally published at Kable.
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@AC Thurs 20 Aug @10:20
Yes, Plod DOES have a job to do.
But it's been one hell of a long time since they've done it.
example "crime" 1: let's say hypothetically speaking you were to walk in to a police station with a few bruises and a couple of cuts and report you've just been mugged by a bunch of yobs, their reaction is to take your details and inform you there's not much point even as much as taking a statement let alone sending someone to the area to have a look for the quite distinctive looking group because "we'll never catch them, it's mostly just a paper exercise to record in our crime statistics" (exact words said to me!), solving this type of "paper exercise" crime would require getting off of their fat arses
example "crime" 2: let's say you're driving along an empty dual carriageway and you go 5mph over the limit (which used to be 10mph higher until the same day the speed cameras appeared), in this case you can be damn sure that they will take the effort to post a fine to you!
...and then they wonder why people don't think they are doing a very good job!
>> "If the locations of these cameras were published, potential criminals would know where they are, and could bypass/avoid them or destroy them entirely. This would mean that the Force would be less able to detect and reduce crime on the roads."
Indeed we don't want to give partially sighted crims the same advantage that crims with 20:20 have. ANPR cameras are hardly hidden (unless there are ones we don't know about?). When they stuck them up near me they were quite happy to tell everyone that they are on (almost) every route into and out of the nearby towns.