Police ANPR Operation

Sitting in a Vaxhall Vectra at the side of the A53 in Etruria on a cold wet Thursday doesn’t sound like the most glamourous of ways to spend a couple of hours, but if the car happens to be a top of the range police car fitted with over £5000 of Automatic Number Plate Recognition equipment it does become a slightly more interesting proposition.

There were 4 highly visible police cars taking part in the operation around Hanley on Thursday, each one checking the number plates of 1000s of cars each hour. No matter if they are driving, parked up monitoring the traffic or have already pulled someone over, the ANPR kit checks the registration plate of each car it sees in either of its two cameras against a database of over 2 million cars which are flagged for attention.

As each car comes in to view the camera captures an image and feeds it in to the ANPR computer fitted to the car and searches the databases for Tax, Insurance, MOT as well as information from the Police National Computer which checks to see if the vehicle or its owner are wanted in relation to accidents or crime. Details of stolen vehicles are also added to the system as they are reported. All these checks are done almost instantly and the information for each vehicle is flashed up on a dashboard mounted monitor.

4 years ago it was estimated that 10% of vehicles on the road in the UK were uninsured, today in Staffordshire that is down to 2.5%. The reduction in uninsured vehicles is because of the proactive approach we take and the ability to seize uninsured vehicles at the roadside.

If you drive an uninsured vehicle and are stopped, you will receive a £200 fixed penalty at the roadside & 6 points on your licence. We will then seize your vehicle, which will cost you a further £150 in recovery costs. The recovery operator will then charge you around £20 per day for storing your vehicle until you have insured it and collected it. So you could be looking at up to £600 plus the cost of your insurance, which will almost undoubtedly also go up in price and will be more expensive than if you had insured your vehicle in the first place.

The operation around Hanley resulted in 11 negative breath tests, 4 cars seized for not having insurance, 7 people reported for summons and 5 fixed penalty notices for various driving offences.
Today we used our Automatic Number Plate Recognition equipment police cars to target people illegally using the road around the city centre. We know that criminals involved in committing crime often commit motoring offences. Also vehicles that aren’t insured are more likely to be involved in a collision.

The ANPR system focusses on vehicles but is not solely for the detection of vehicle crime, if you are wanted by the police in relation to any crime, your vehicle details can be entered on the the ANPR and officer anywhere in the country will be able to see that your vehicle should be stopped and you questioned or arrested.
Adem Kilincarslan who was jailed last week for a rape which took place 15 years ago was caught by ANPR, Kilincarslan had been involved in an accident at Weston Coyney and failed to stop, his vehicle details were entered on to the Police National Computer and the ANPR system. He was stopped and questioned by PC?? from the Police Crime Unit who arrested him after a search of his vehicle found 2 knives under the drivers seat. A DNA Sample was taken after his arrest and this was subsequently matched to a sample taken as part of the investigation in to the rape 15 years ago.

the ANPR gives us information on vehicles as they are scanned by our system but we don’t rely on it solely, still use our instincts to stop cars. When we look at a car that passes all the ANPR checks we can usually tell if there is something that we need to investigate

As well as the ongoing ANPR operations around the city, Staffordshire Police are also taking part in the national annual Drink Driving campaign, on Wednesday officers from the Tunstall Incident Management Team targeted drivers in the Chell Heath Road, Smallthorne and Fegg Hayes areas between 6.30 pm and 10.15 pm.

A total of 211 vehicles were stopped with 9 drivers, aged between 23 and 64 years old, were breathalysed. All provided negative tests.

One vehicle was seized for not being insured and a number of drivers were given information on drink driving.

Ten More Vehicles Seized In Stoke-on-Trent

Last Friday (4 June) officers from the Staffordshire Police Road Crime Team targeted illegal drivers in Stoke-on-Trent with their latest operation. 

ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) equipped vehicles were used to help identify vehicles likely to be committing road traffic offences or vehicles likely to be used in crime in the Cobridge and Etruria areas of the city including the main A53 Newcastle to Leek route.

The team were joined by specialists from VOSA and Customs and Excise.

The operation resulted in ten vehicles being seized by police for offences such as no insurance or no driving licence.  Thirty-one fixed penalty notices were also issued to drivers for offences relating to road safety and thirteen vehicles where issued with prohibition notices (by VOSA) preventing them from being driven on the road due to the dangerous condition.

Sgt. Steve Holt from the Road Crime Team said ‘Operations like the one on Friday have made a real difference over the last few years in help us to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the city’s roads by tackling those drivers who ignore the law.  We have more planned as we continue to target illegal road users.’

Officers from HM Customs are now investigating two drivers who were found to be running their vehicles on “ËœRed Diesel’ and therefore evading normal levels of fuel duty.

Staffordshire Police Crush 853 Uninsured Vehicles

Figures released by Staffordshire Police show that they seized 2,388 vehicles in the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 for having no insurance or licence.

Of these, 853 vehicles were taken of the road forever and crushed.

Chief Inspector Vera Bloor, from the force’s tactical support department said, ‘We are working hard to make Staffordshire’s roads safer. There are many problems associated with vehicles, and a key issue is drivers who are not licensed or insured for the vehicles they are in. Some vehicles also have major problems ““ such as tyre or brake defects ““ that could lead to them being involved in a collision causing injury or even death. If a driver without insurance is involved in a collision there are financial implications for victims and insurance companies.’

She continued ‘Another worrying implication is drivers without a licence are potentially more dangerous as they have not proved they have the basic driving skills needed to drive a vehicle safely. If people break road traffic legislation they could also be breaking other laws and often people caught are also arrested for their involvement in other crimes.’

The force’s road crime team and officers around the county carry out on-going operations to target anti-social use of vehicles, people using mobile phones whilst driving, not wearing a seatbelt, or driving a vehicle that is not in a roadworthy condition.

Officers use the Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system which tells them if a vehicle is insured, has a current tax and gives information that may show whether the driver is licensed to drive.

‘Some drivers cancel insurance payments after they have paid the first instalment and, if caught for an offence, produce the insurance certificate to police. But the ANPR system shows if the driver is not covered,’ added Ch Insp Bloor.

‘We also work closely with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Environment Agency on a variety of different operations that take place throughout the year. Our main aim is to reduce the number of road casualties and make Staffordshire roads even safer to use.’

If all the vehicles that were crushed were stacked on top of each other they would reach the same height of the Eiffel Tower or if parked up, they would cover the same area as 14 football pitches.