Feeds

Police ordered to disclose ANPR camera sites

Devon and Cornwall cops appeal tribunal order

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary is contesting a judgment ordering it to release the location of its fixed automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) cameras, following a successful Freedom of Information appeal by Guardian Government Computing.

The force was told last month to release the locations of its ANPR cameras, in the latest stage of an FoI application initially made in July 2009. Devon and Cornwall's decision to withhold the information was backed by the Information Commissioner's Office, in a finely-balanced judgment published after an investigation lasting a year.

However, an appeal by Government Computing to the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) succeeded. The tribunal, judged by Alison McKenna, ordered that the ICO decision be put aside (PDF) and that Devon and Cornwall Constabulary release the locations within 35 days.

The judgment said that the information should be released on public interest grounds, and that the ICO had not given enough weight to this in its decision. It said that the ICO "did not fully consider" the impact on data protection and rights of access to information captured by ANPR cameras, or "the wider public interest arising in not only knowing where the cameras are located but also, in the light of that information, being able to consider how they are used and whether the use to which they are put by local police forces justifies the undoubted invasion of privacy that they represent".

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary yesterday successfully applied to appeal the decision (PDF). An officer told the Western Morning News that ANPR was "a fantastic weapon in our fight against crime," particularly in tackling drug dealing.

"If we are forced to reveal their locations, then other forces will have to follow, and that raises serious issues particularly around counter terrorism," the officer added.

The force has previously disclosed that it runs 69 ANPR cameras, and a parliamentary written answer in January revealed that 45 of them were connected to the National ANPR Database at that time. In separate Freedom of Information disclosures to the Western Morning News, the force has said that it read 78.9m numberplates in 2010, producing 255,000 'hits' worthy of further investigation, representing 0.3% of the total.

The number of hits has fallen sharply from 1.24m in 2008, something explained by the trust as down to the removal of a DVLA 'no tax and no keeper', the removal of another list from the Police National Computer and the refining of the Midas industry database of vehicles without insurance.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.