North Yorkshire Police's £1m hi-tech investment programme to tackle travelling criminals is gaining momentum with the opening of an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Hub.
The ANPR Hub is based in the Force Control Room with dedicated staff who will monitor and assess real time information relating to vehicles identified as being connected to criminality and build up intelligence about their movements.
This latest move is part of an ongoing £1m investment in ANPR which also includes new, rapidly deployable cameras, more mobile cameras, fixed site cameras and in-car cameras as well as the fitting of ANPR cameras to some of the force’s mobile safety cameras and the introduction of a second Road Crime Team.
North Yorkshire Police already uses ANPR which has proved to be a highly effective tool, particularly in support of Operation Hawk, the force’s campaign to protect our communities from travelling and cross-border offenders.
These new developments will allow North Yorkshire Police to increase its coverage across the county with the ANPR Hub gathering intelligence to proactively target and intercept criminals in the process of committing a crime.
North Yorkshire is the largest, single county police force in England. It has 6,000 miles of roads and borders seven other counties including four with the highest crime rate per 1,000 population. A significant proportion – around 20% – of all detected crime in North Yorkshire is committed by criminals travelling from neighbouring areas.
ANPR works by reading the registration number of a vehicle and after checking the number against a database of information, will issue an alarm if the vehicle is linked to criminality.
It is used by the police to prevent and detect crime, as part of ongoing investigations, post-incident investigations, as well as helping in the search for vulnerable missing people, wanted criminals and to target uninsured and untaxed vehicles.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, who is also the national lead for ANPR for the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC)*, said: “This is the first phase of our programme to expand ANPR capability across North Yorkshire. Traditionally ANPR has been used to react to vehicles passing through, however our new ANPR Hub gives us the resources to use the technology in a more proactive and intelligent way. It is vital that we invest in new technology and exploit its benefits to help protect our communities and keep people safe and secure.
“The addition of ANPR systems to our mobile safety cameras gives us an extra crime fighting resource to help disrupt travelling criminals. However, the primary function of the mobile safety cameras remains road safety and the targeting of motoring offences.
“Law-abiding people have nothing to fear from the increase in ANPR cameras, but criminals should take note that they are now, more than ever before, likely to be caught in North Yorkshire. I hope the residents of North Yorkshire are reassured that we are constantly striving to improve our service and efficiency, and these latest developments have one aim – to increase protection for them and keep the area one of the safest in the country.”
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, added: “Investing in ANPR capability is vital to continue to keep North Yorkshire as one of the safest counties in England. It means the police are now better able to track and disrupt traveling criminals who are intent on causing harm in our communities.”
The expansion of ANPR is part of a wider programme of change and investment called the Operational Policing Model (OPM).The OPM includes a series of projects to improve efficiency across North Yorkshire Police. Technology is a major feature of the programme.
The roll out of the new, rapidly deployable cameras, additional mobile cameras, fixed site cameras and in-car cameras is taking place over the coming months.
The Operational Policing Model is an innovative overhaul of how North Yorkshire Police operates, and as well as the expansion of ANPR, includes:
- The introduction of the THRIVE model, which assesses threat, harm, risk, investigation, vulnerability and engagement, allowing us to tailor our service to the needs of each victim and puts officers and staff where they are needed most
- A £10 million investment in technology
- The introduction of Investigation Hubs to speed up justice and improve our service to victims
- Handheld mobile devices will be introduced enabling officers to complete records without the need to return to a police station.
- The use of video conferencing to cut down on travelling time to meetings
- A specialist deployment system to further improve efficiency and performance
- The combining of the tasking and intelligence departments to provide a more streamlined response to intelligence
- The formation of a new ‘Citizens in Policing’ board that will increase and make better use of the Special Constabulary and other volunteers
- A ‘Time for Policing’ initiative to cut bureaucracy at all levels and oversee professional development
- The setting up the force’s first dedicated Cyber Crime Unit to tackle the growing problem of online fraud and other issues such as offences against children.
*The National Police Chief’s Council replaced the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) from 1 April 2015.Last modified: June 9, 2016