ANPR cameras which form part of £600,000 transport scheme ‘will not be used to fight crime’

PUBLISHED: 11:28 10 October 2013 | UPDATED: 11:28 10 October 2013

ANPR cameras.

ANPR cameras.

Daniel Wilson

ANPR cameras, costing thousands of pounds and can read number plates will not be used to tackle crime, it has emerged.

ANPR cameraANPR camera

The admission that the technology, which is part of a £600,000 Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) scheme in Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar, would not be used to track criminals has left one business boss baffled.

The company director, who did not wish to be named, runs a Potters Bar firm and initially backed the plan after vandalism and fly-tipping in the town.

He said: “[I] feel that ANPR cameras will bring a very welcome and great benefit to the area.”

He added: “We had a very serious fly tipping commercial incident a few months ago outside our unit here, as well as a serious and costly vandalism attack the previous year.

ANPR cameras.ANPR cameras.

“I have been discussing ANPR cameras with the local Community Support Police for some time now, and this is the first time I have heard that this may be implemented.”

But, after looking into the plan further, he discovered the Big Brother technology would only be used for “monitoring journey times”.

After the revelation he said: “Maybe this is simply a revenue collecting device after all.

“One would have thought that the database system that collects number plate information would be shared with the police when required.”

“One would have thought that for the money spent that this would be a useful tool for monitoring crime, as well as monitoring journey times.”

A county council spokesman confirmed the policy.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “The county council uses ANPR cameras solely to help measure traffic speeds on the county’s major roads.

“The system we use only records journey times and does not gather any personal information.

He added: “Similarly, we only use CCTV to identify congestion or accidents on the county’s roads.

“Access to these systems is strictly limited to a specially trained group of staff.”

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