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SA police begin using number plate recognition cameras

March 12, 2009

SA police begin using number plate recognition cameras

BIKIES, pedophiles and unregistered drivers will be targeted by a new “Big Brother” style camera being trialled by SA Police.  

Police will soon start using four Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras that are already being used by UK police.

Speaking from London, Police Minister Michael Wright said the cameras were “a powerful crime fighting tool.”

Tripod-mounted ANPR cameras have been used by Operation Nomad police since 2004 to monitor vehicles of suspected firebugs on days of extreme fire danger.

The new generation of ANPR cameras can be used inside and out of police cars, giving officers more scope to detect suspicious vehicles.

The cameras instantly scan number plates and match them against information stored in databases.

“This can identify vehicles of interest to the police such as stolen or unregistered cars or those involved in crime,” Mr Wright said.

“The UK experience shows that criminals, like everyone else, need to use the roads.

“In the areas where ANPR technology is deployed there has been a considerable increase in the number of arrests,” Mr Wright said.

Most arrests made in the UK with the use of the ANPR cameras were for “criminal offences such as drugs, theft or for arrest warrants rather than motoring offences,” he said.

Mr Wright is in London for meetings with the Head of Operations at the UK’s national Policing Improvement Agency.The cameras can also be deployed to monitor vehicles linked to Outlaw Motorcycle Gang members and the movements of convicted child sex offenders.

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