Police Consultation “Automatic Number Plate Recognition”

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology is used by Staffordshire Police to help detect, deter and disrupt criminality. It can also be a powerful tool in helping us tackle travelling criminals. The deployment of ANPR cameras assists the police in protecting communities from harm and allows law abiding drivers to continue with their daily lives unhindered, whilst simultaneously drawing police attention to those using the roads for criminal endeavours.

Across the County served by Staffordshire Police, technology is deployed in 64 areas of strategic importance. In line with national policy, the specific locations of cameras are not disclosed as to do so would be of potential benefit to criminals using the roads and in turn hinder the effectiveness of the policing purpose of ANPR.

Camera sites are determined following an in depth assessment to ensure that locations are and continue to be necessary, proportionate and in line with a pressing social need. We will continue to act in line with guidance from the Information Compliance Office to consider privacy issues when seeking to install cameras and will consult with individuals 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. The in depth assessment is the essential source of information when reviewing ANPR deployments and data collection is ceased from sites which are no longer deemed to have policing challenges.

We have clear rules to control access to ANPR data which only allows permitted staff to conduct searches of the information gathered to confirm whether vehicles associated with a known criminal have been in the area at the time of a crime to support the investigation process. Staffordshire Police is committed to ensuring the deployment of ANPR technology across the force area is necessary and proportionate. We will regularly review the location of ANPR cameras to make sure that its continuing use remains justified. All reviews will include consideration of the impact on privacy.

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