Mike Stevens | Sep 23, 2009

FOLLOWING NEWS IN MAY that Victoria Police has begun trialling a new type of camera capable of scanning the number plates of up to 700 passing vehicles an hour, South Australia's police force has this week launched its own trial of the technology.

Called Mobile Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, the new systems will be trialled in four South Australia Police patrol cars until the end of the year, before a decision is made on whether to expand the programme.

Each patrol car is fitted with three ANPR cameras: two forward-facing and a third with with the ability to scan the registration plates of parked vehicles as the patrol car passes.

“It increases the potential for offenders to be identified, stopped and appropriate policing responses undertaken," a SA Police release reads.

"Intelligence, particularly relating to vehicle location, can link criminals to these vehicles as well as linking vehicles to crime scenes. ANPR will also identify unroadworthy (vehicles)."

Assistant Commissioner Killmier pointed to the technology's successful use interstate and overseas as evidence of the trial's worth. He said the cameras will be used in crime reduction and road safety strategies this year.

“As a vehicle licence plate is read by the camera, the image is displayed on an LCD screen visible to police officers and an audible tone alerts police if a registration number plate matches a vehicle of interest," Assistant Commissioner Killmier said.

"ANPR cameras record the location of a vehicle at an exact time, have a capacity to scan a high volume of vehicle plates, and work in all weather and lighting conditions.

"We hope they will help police intercept dangerous drivers and therefore assist in reducing deaths and serious injury.”

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