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Camera Network Tracks Criminals
- Apr 24, 2018 -

A camera system that reads car registration plates has been launched to track criminals.

CCTV cameras placed along routes into Bristol are being equipped with Automatic Number Plate Recognition.

The plate of all passing vehicles is fed into a central system. If it is suspicious, the car can be intercepted by nearby patrols.

The scheme is being introduced under the joint control of Avon and Somerset Police and Bristol City Council.

National computer

The system can check for stolen vehicles, vehicles suspected of being used in a crime, disqualified drivers or individuals who are wanted on warrant.

Registration plates are automatically read and checked against several databases including the Police National Computer and the DVLA in Swansea.

Inspector Sonny Walker, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "The system not only affects car thieves but also flags up cars used in other crimes and those used by wanted offenders.

"By putting the system through the Bristol City Council CCTV cameras we can reach a massive amount of the city, rather than target one stretch of one road with a mobile unit."

Councillor Gary Hopkins, added: "Partnership working, clear priorities and the adoption of innovative approaches by the Safer Bristol Partnership to tackling crime and drugs and improving community safety are having a real impact in Bristol."

A council spokesman denied there were plans to switch the cameras over subsequently to read registration plates as part of a traffic congestion scheme.