Police in Victoria plan to introduce a network of car-mounted cameras in an effort to monitor the state’s ‘most wanted’ motorists.
A report by business strategists Deloitte proposes that the state’s 200-odd highway pursuit cars each be fitted with one or more cameras, and that each of these cameras be linked.
The cameras would monitor vehicle number plates to identify unregistered or stolen vehicles, and drivers who are suspended or disqualified from driving.
Similar systems are already operating in other Australian states, but the system proposed for Victoria would target more than just registration details.
The system could keep track of suspected criminals, bikie gang members and terrorists in real time, as vehicles of interest would be noted each time they crossed paths with police.
Police would use the data to establish patterns of movement for persons of interest, and may be able to prove a person’s whereabouts at the time an incident takes place.
The system would cost an estimated $86 million to implement, with cameras capable of scanning numerous number plates per second.
A trial of number plate cameras across selected parts of Victoria saw a sizable increase in the number of unregistered vehicles and unlicensed drivers detected.
VicRoads estimates around 38,000 unlicensed drivers operate on Victorian roads each day, and that 10 percent of fatal collisions in the state involves one of these drivers.
Deloitte predicts an additional 66,000 drivers per year could be apprehended by police, and another 120,000 unregistered vehicles could be detected.
The report also recommends a staggered rollout of the new system, to allow for ‘bugs’ to be ironed out and changes to privacy laws.
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