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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 2, 2004: New Technology Raises Arrest Rates

Results published today in a study entitled 'Driving crime down: Denying criminals the use of the road' indicate that a hi-tech vehicle number plate scanning system has seen police arrest rates rise significantly. The study highlights the increasing impact of technological advances on crime detection.

The year long pilot study named 'Laser 2' of of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology began in June 2003. ANPR instantly scans vehicle number plates and matches them against information stored against police databases to identify stolen vehicles or those involved in crime. Once identified by the system, suspicious vehicles are intercepted by the police. ANPR systems can check up to 3,000 number plates per hour on vehicles travelling up to 100 mph.

The pilot was undertaken in 23 police forces across England and Wales. During the study period, ANPR teams across these 23 forces produced nine/ten times the national average arrest rate per officer, totalling more than 13,000 arrests. £8 million worth of drugs and property were seized.

ANPR is not a new technology, but it was only recently that the full potential to tackle criminality was realized. In 2002, a number of police forces increased their use of ANPR systems to include dedicated intercept officers. These officers were able to intercept and stop vehicles of interest identified by the ANPR systems. The intention was that targeted enforcement would detect, disrupt and deter criminality.

A 6 month evaluation of the use of these dedicated intercept officers (‘Laser 1’) showed the concept to be extremely effective, achieving arrest rates many times that of conventional policing. Since 1 June 2003, the 23 forces have operated dedicated intercept officers (‘Laser 2’).The Home Office estimates that national roll-out of ANPR would lead to approximately 26,400 additional offences being brought to justice.

The ANPR intercept teams stopped a total of 180,543 vehicles. From these stops, the intercept officers arrested 13,499 persons, including:

  • 2,263 arrests for theft and burglary
  • 3,324 arrests for driving offences (for example driving whilst disqualified)
  • 1,107 arrests for drugs offences
  • 1,386 arrests for auto crime (theft from and of vehicles)

They recovered or seized property, including:

  • 1,152 stolen vehicles (valued at over £7.5 million)
  • 266 offensive weapons and 13 firearms
  • drugs worth over £380,000 from 740 vehicles
  • stolen goods worth over £640,000 from 430 vehicles

They issued fixed penalty notices, including:

  •  22,825 tickets for failing to display VED
  • 6,299 for no insurance
  • 1,496 for no MOT
  • 20,290 for a variety of other offences

A national data centre will be created to exchange ANPR-read data from across the UK for post-incident investigation and to support work to tackle terrorism and organised crime.Home Secretary David Blunkett notes that although it is only one policing tool, ANPR has uses in a range of areas, including tackling volume crime, serious & organised crime, counterterrorism, and in intelligence gathering. It has also proven an asset in tackling the ‘underclass’ of vehicles that are incorrectly registered, untaxed and uninsured. The full study is available for download here.

Mr Blunkett said:

"ANPR is a powerful tool, unique in its ability to impact on crime at every level, from local volume crime through cross-border and organised crime and counter terrorism. It brings enormous benefits to the police and to society… ANPR is a shining example of how targeted police operations deliver positive results."