South Yorks police leads UK in use of ANPR cameras
Norfolk Constabulary hardly uses them though
Figures released by the government show large variations in the use of automatic numberplate recognition cameras by police forces. Home Office minister James Brokenshire released the figures in response to a parliamentary question from Labour MP Brian Donohoe.
The numbers show that 4,225 cameras were connected by police forces in England and Wales to the National ANPR Data Centre during the week of 5 to 11 January, with 3,888 in England and 337 in Wales.
An analysis of the figures by Kable suggests that South Yorkshire makes the greatest use by head of population of ANPR of English forces, with 247 cameras for a population of 1.3m – nearly 19 cameras for each 100,000 people.
A Freedom of Information release on the force's website says that it uses ANPR in each of its district areas, along with fixed and mobile systems and CCTV cameras adapted to provide ANPR functionality.
Durham, with 94 cameras for a population of 506,000, has nearly as high a proportion in use as South Yorkshire. Meanwhile, Norfolk Constabulary made the least proportional use of ANPR, with 22 cameras for its 853,000 population, about 2.5 for each 100,000 people. It was also the smallest user of the cameras in absolute numbers. Other light users include Northumbria, with 48 cameras, and Devon and Cornwall, with 45, both with fewer than four cameras for each 100,000 people in their areas.
In absolute numbers, the Metropolitan and City of London Police Forces had the most cameras, with 473 in use on these dates. However, this does not appear to include London's congestion charge cameras, which although primarily used for collecting data for payments, are also used by police at some 700 locations in the capital.
West Midlands Police used 388 cameras, despite covering just one-third of London's population. Merseyside was the third-largest user with 247, not including cameras on motorways in its area which are operated by the North West Motorway Police Group, which itself runs 117 cameras for the Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside forces. Cheshire does not run any other cameras, suggesting that it only uses ANPR on motorways.
The figures also show the national system was experiencing problems earlier this month: West Yorkshire had no cameras connected to the national data centre during the week in question, "due to a technical issue".
This article was originally published at Kable.
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"As for speed cameras..."
Cameras have merely made important what is measureable, hence the undue focus on speed management and unnecessary limit reductions. It is well-known that those in charge of cameras have greatly over-exaggerated their effectiveness (look up: Regression To The Mean)
Cameras gather evidence of one specific technical infringement (without ending that offence) without accounting for any aggravating/mitigating circumstances; they can be useless at one time and be completely dangerously distractive at others. Also, they are good at that one thing only if the driver hasn't taken precautions to evade being traced. Cameras do not give any advice or promote good driving techniques.
Police detect and immediately halt all forms of illegal, dangerous and anti-social driving (and non-driving offences), as well as prevent evasion of justice, whilst applying discretion, and give advice if necessary.
Ask joyriders and boy racers which they prefer!!
Cameras HAVE displaced real road policing, therefore cameras have made our roads more dangerous than they otherwise would have been.
Do they have an effect?
I wonder how much of an effect ANPR cameras have on crime? Are they like CCTV cameras which actually have a very limited impact on crime detection? I had the misfortune to see a bit of Police! Camera! Action! last night, most of which seemed to be shameless propaganda in favour of CCTV and how they help solve lots of crimes. If ANPR does actually help reduce the number of untaxed vehicles and uninsured drivers then good. If not they end up being a waste of money.
As for speed cameras, I have never understood why being caught breaking the speed limit by a camera is unfair. If the speed limit for an area is unrealistic should not the focus be on increasing the limit, rather than taking away the cameras. It seems to me that having discretionary laws (on speed limits or anything else) is the start of a slippery slope.
I have no real problems with ANPR cameras. I pay my insurance and road tax and keep the cat MOT'd, so am happy enough if the rozzas can more easily pick out those who think they don't need to bother with insurance etc.
Speeding cameras in places designed soley to generate revenue rather than reduce accidents = bad.
ANPR cameras, on the whole = good.