Tony O'Kane | Sep 24, 2009

NEW NUMBER PLATE RECOGNISING cameras will be set up across Melbourne this weekend in a Victoria Police crack-down on unlicensed drivers, unregistered vehicles and motorists with outstanding arrest warrants.

The Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology is capable of scanning up to 700 cars an hour and can cross-reference each plate with an online database in fractions of a second.

Vehicles of interest to the police can then be intercepted instantly and pulled over.

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Victoria Police has already trialled the technology, as have police in Tasmania and Southern Australia. However, this weekend's roll-out of the ANPR cameras will be the first wide-scale use of the system in Victoria.

It is also part of Victoria Police's Operation Ardent III road safety blitz, which will see booze buses, speed cameras and an elevated police presence in Melbourne's inner suburbs over the AFL Grand Final weekend.

Photo: Chris Keating.
Photo: Chris Keating.

Melbourne's CBD, Maribyrnong, Stonnington, Port Phillip and Yarra will be targeted by Operation Ardent III from tonight through to Sunday, and booze buses will be camped around the MCG on Grand Final day.

“We know Grand Final day is a time for getting together with family and friends and having a few drinks during the footy," said Police Deputy Commissioner Ken Lay.

“If you’re planning on drinking, don’t plan on driving, that’s the best way to stay out of trouble, because we won’t be listening to your excuses," he said.

“We’re not hiding behind that fact that we’re dedicating additional mobile speed camera hours to policing the inner-city streets over AFL Grand Final weekend.

“We’re evening up the odds to take on speeding, drunk and unlicensed drivers and penalise those people accordingly.”

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