Controversy over Police ANPR Cameras

Published Date: 30th Nov 2015

The Police have refused to release specific details on its now national ANPR camera system

Often flying below the radar, the ANPR camera system is often used to catch out insurance and tax cheats. But do the police have deeper intentions for it? With thousands dotted around the country, you are never that far away from one and you wouldn’t even know it.

How many number plates are read by ANPR cameras every day?

Many Brits probably wonder how many times they are snapped by these often under stated cameras, the answer is very surprising and to some even alarming. There is an estimated 8,300 ANPR camera installed on and around UK roads today, but how many snaps are taken? 30 million a day! Or 10 billion a year! This pushes us ever closer to the Big Brother Society that seems to be closing in on us at a rate of knots.

One of the worrying things is that your movements are tracked and stored for up to 2 years, to the shops, visiting the parents and to and from work every day. You can imagine the amount of personal data that is being stored on your behalf, and do we want the police to know our every movement? Most people would disagree. The Police more often than not hide behind security and keeping us safe, but that is nothing but a fear factor.

As we evolve into being linked and tracked by everything we do, everywhere we go and everything we say – maybe it’s time some of our MPs took a stance and started to ask some questions about our privacy violations.

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A few words from the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC)’s lead for ANPRs, Paul Kennedy –

“ANPR has been used by police for over a decade and it is a vital tool both in the prevention and detection of crime including counterterrorism, homicide, and serious and organised crime. It also enables police to understand local crime patterns and has resulted in the arrest of some of the country’s most prolific and dangerous criminals. Police forces recognise their responsibility to protect people’s privacy too and carry a ‘privacy impact assessment’ for the deployment of cameras. This ensures that ANPR is used proportionately. ”

He went on to say: “We are balancing a desire to be as transparent as possible without giving away our tactics to criminals. A new ANPR network will be introduced next year using advanced technology which will enable greater control over all ANPR data and better oversight over where cameras are deployed.”

The National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) are pushing for the data storage time allocation of 2 years to be extended to a massive 7 years, all of our private journeys recorded for the last 7 years of our lives……..