Feeds

Staffs cops place ANPR alley on M6

Staffordshire police sprinkle high-tech cameras on 40 mile stretch

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.