Feeds

Staffs cops place ANPR alley on M6

Staffordshire police sprinkle high-tech cameras on 40 mile stretch

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

One police force area in the west Midlands appears to make much greater use of motorway automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) than other constabularies.

Police in Staffordshire appear to be using ANPR cameras in at least four locations on the 40-mile stretch of the M6 within the county. This compares to only three sets on the 150-mile stretch of the motorway from Staffordshire's northern edge to the Scottish border.

GC News observed the distribution of police ANPR cameras, which have distinctive designs from other numberplate-tracking cameras used by organisations, at the start of September, and has since verified all but one of the M6 locations using Google Street View, on which the cameras are clearly visible. It is possible that cameras were installed at the other location since Google photographed the M6.

Such heavy use of ANPR, with a set of cameras between most junctions on the road, appears to be unusual outside major cities. Other motorways, including the M6 north of Staffordshire, often have ANPR cameras many miles apart.

Police ANPR cameras record the numberplates of all vehicles passing, and retain them for two years on a national database currently run by the National Policing Improvement Agency. Their locations are not normally disclosed by forces.

Staffordshire Police referred enquiries to the Central Motorway Police Group, which polices motorways on behalf of the Staffordshire, West Midlands and West Mercia forces. The group, which is co-located with West Midlands Police, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Staffordshire Police started using ANPR in 2000, according to a document on its website, making it one of the earlier constabularies to adopt the technology. Its 2007-08 budget publication refers to a request to increase its crime and intelligence budget by £164,000, to expand its 'Autonomy' project. This was to involve ANPR systems, as well as Holmes 2, the software used by police forces to run major investigations, and Socrates, Northgate's policing software suite.

The force's webpages on ANPR refer to it as a "fast growing technology" which the force uses to its "full potential... at local, regional and national levels together with other agencies".

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.