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Northern Ireland gets upgraded spycams

£12.9m for better ANPR system

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The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is planning to spend some of £12.9m in additional government security funding on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.

A spokesperson for the service told GC News that due to security reasons it could not reveal the exact amount being spent on ANPR or any other details of the upgrade.

The PSNI published its policing plan for 2010-13 in March, and briefly detailed its intentions to "provide a new ANPR platform, which complements the existing camera systems, thus improving road and public safety".

At the end of June, Northern Ireland minister Hugo Swire also spoke about the need for the police to have the necessary resources "to counter those determined to use violence to try to bring down the peace process".

"It is for the chief constable to judge how PSNI resources and manpower are deployed. Among other things this money will enable the upgrading and extension of an ANPR system similar to those that exist elsewhere in the UK and in the Republic of Ireland," he said of the £12.9m additional funding.

Police use of ANPR cameras is set to change after home secretary Theresa May ordered greater regulation of such systems last month. As a result, the police ANPR database that currently holds 7.6 billion records of the movement of motorists in England and Wales will be operated with tougher accountability and safeguards.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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