Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology is used within Leicestershire to help detect, deter and disrupt criminality at a local, force, regional and national level, including tackling travelling criminals, organised crime groups and terrorists.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition provides lines of enquiry and evidence in the investigation of crime and is used by forces throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

How it works

BMW police car parked in a parking bayAs a vehicle passes a police monitored Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera, its registration number is read and instantly checked against database records of vehicles of interest.

Police officers can intercept and stop a vehicle, check it for evidence and, where necessary, make arrests.

The use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition in this way has proved to be important in the detection of many offences, including locating stolen vehicles, tackling uninsured vehicle use and investigating cases of major crime.

It also allows officers' attention to be drawn to offending vehicles whilst allowing law abiding drivers to go about their business unhindered.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition data from Leicestershire Police is submitted to the National ANPR Data Centre (NADC) where it is stored together with similar data from other forces for a period of two years.

Access to stored data

We have clear rules controlling access to Automatic Number Plate Recognition data to ensure that access is for legitimate investigation purposes. Only officers and staff with appropriate training have access to Automatic Number Plate Recognition data if it's relevant to their role, and they may normally only do so for a maximum period of 90 days from the date it was collected.

Access to data for up to two years will be subject to the authorisation of a senior officer. After 90 days, access may only be for priority & volume crime, serious, major or counter terrorism investigations and after twelve months only for major investigations and counter terrorism purposes.

Searches of Automatic Number Plate Recognition data can confirm whether vehicles associated with a known criminal has been in the area at the time of a crime and can dramatically expedite investigations.

Camera locations

In addition to being mounted within police vehicles, police monitored Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras within Leicestershire are used at fixed locations where they will help to detect, deter and disrupt criminality. In line with national policy, we do not disclose details of our fixed locations as this information is likely to be of benefit to offenders and if known could reduce the value of Automatic Number Plate Recognition to policing.

National guidelines state that, if Leicestershire Police proposes to install additional Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, an assessment must be conducted that demonstrates a clear need, taking account of the following factors:

In assessing whether new cameras are to be deployed, a Privacy Impact Assessment will be undertaken. We will consult people and organisations with a reasonable interest in the proposal unless that would be contrary to the purpose of the development, namely to detect, deter and disrupt criminality.

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