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Northamptonshire's ANPR uplift proves a success

The doubling of Northamptonshire’s ANPR network has led to in 340 arrests in eight months.

In December 2020, Chief Constable Nick Adderley and Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Stephen Mold announced that 150 new camera sites would be installed across the county to increase coverage across rural areas and major towns as well as on the county borders.

Northamptonshire has a large road network for its size, used by both local criminals and those passing through. The force recognised a capability gap in terms of transient criminality.  

The force says the £1.3 million investment has paid off in the past eight months with 340 arrests made, 627 vehicle seizures, 310 intelligence-led searches, and 1,026 traffic offences identified.

One notable case is in July 2021 when one of the new ANPR Intel Officers identified a vehicle containing a missing 15-year-old girl at risk of child sexual exploitation. When the vehicle was stopped the girl was with a man in his 60s. He was arrested for child abduction.

In May 2021 a vehicle linked to multiple thefts of purses from elderly victims in the Lincolnshire area activated a camera entering Northamptonshire. Officers responded to the ANPR hit and managed to stop it in Welford Road, Northampton. Three men were arrested and taken into custody.

PCC Mold said the results speak for themselves. “These additional ANPR cameras and staff members are a fantastic resource, supporting Northamptonshire Police officers and staff in their work to target people who come to the county to commit crime and cause harm,” he said.

“These success stories show how the appropriate use of technology is helping Northamptonshire Police to deny criminals the use our county’s roads.  Good work is taking place across the county to prevent crime and support victims, and I am pleased to see that our investment in ANPR is playing an important part in making Northamptonshire safer.”

CC Adderley said: “In the eight months since we began installing these 150 new cameras - ANPR, and the team which sits behind it, have proven their worth several times over.

“Without their capability, many of the arrests we have made here simply would not have happened and others would have taken hours and hours of time and resource, not to mention lengthy and anxious waits for the victims.

“Increasing our ANPR capability has not only enabled us to put a ring of steel around the county to prevent and detect crime, but it also enables us to better protect vulnerable people. I look forward to more good results.”

In September 2020 the PCC funded eight new interceptor vehicles equipped with ANPR technology as part of the wider strategy to strengthen crime fighting. They were relaunched in May 2021 after not quite filling their potential and instead too often picking up overspill from response teams.  

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