Thursday, 4 December 2008
Routine Stops - UK style
Having read KO's last post (A Routine Traffic Stop) I thought I'd show him a typical pre-planned UK police traffic stop - with a difference. The Transit van on the left has a camera on a mast and the unit is equipped with ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition). Introduced a few years before I quit, the team can download any selected information from their Intel system with vehicle info that they wish to scan for. It might be known drug dealers, persons with outstanding warrants for serious crimes or whatever the task has dictated. The camera can scan and monitor multiple car number plates and the software rapidly checks it against the Police National Computer as well as the locally downloaded intel. A `hit` will be audibly and visually flagged-up within a second and the job of stopping the vehicle is then underway- Hence the pursuit vehicle in the pic. Out of shot are other units (high speed pursuit car - Subaru Impreza Turbo and a motorcycle unit) strategically placed to cut off anyone who isn't stopped straight away. Be aware 'cos `Grand-Frere` is out there! PS: ANPR was introduced in my last force around 1999/2000, initially as a CT measure at ferryports, but was quickly rolled out onto traffic patrols. All the car has to do is cruise the highways and byeways, doing their crime reduction stuff, and the rear facing cameras scan 45degs either side just watching the traffic roll by. All UK vehicle registrations are now linked to insurance companies and the annual road worthiness test as well as the annual vehicle excise licence (the equivalent of the US `tag` on the license plate). If any of these documents are out of date or missing, it's picked up in seconds and flagged to the car crew, `ping`! Several trials are also taking place on facial recognition cameras - ever seen the film, "Minority Report" ????? ;) PPS: I took the photograph last week.