Newark police station / credit: Lucy Millard

Newly introduced crime-detecting cameras in a Nottinghamshire town have already provided over 500,000 readings in relation to criminal activity.

Whilst the state-of-the-art automatic number place recognition (ANPR) devices have only been in operation in Newark for the last few months, the technology is already being used effectively and efficiently by a number of teams within the Nottinghamshire Police.

The new technology has already assisted the force in a number of high-profile investigations. ANPR readings assisted in an investigation in which four men were charged in relation to burglary and theft offences in June 2020.

Newark neighbourhood officers have begun training in ANPR and will monitor the output whilst out on patrol. Through the devices they will be able to identify and track vehicles of interest.

The installation of the ANPR technology has been taking place since the beginning of December 2020 and is part of the £550,000 Newark Safer Streets Project.

The implementation of the new cameras has been led by Nottinghamshire Police ANPR lead, Detective Inspector Jonathan Naylor.

He said: “We have now delivered and enhanced ANPR capability to Newark which has already provided over 500,000 readings and identified a number of vehicles involved in criminality including criminal damage, thefts and burglary offences.

The ANPR devices work by reading registration plates and checking them through the national police database. Any anomalies are sent back to the force which assists officers in targeting vehicles that need to be stopped and checked.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping added: “This is fantastic news for the local community and will enhance the proactive work already under way by officers to disrupt crime and protect people and property.

“Technology is a vital partner in the fight against crime and these cameras will allow us to focus our efforts where we can make the most impact.”

By George Chouls