Feeds

Staffs cops place ANPR alley on M6

Staffordshire police sprinkle high-tech cameras on 40 mile stretch

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.