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National ANPR conference hosted in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Police were proud to host this year's National ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) Conference at the Principal Hotel in York on the 22 to 23 November 2016.

Key individuals representing forces from across the country and industry experts attended the conference, to share their knowledge of the use of ANPR and discuss the operational benefits this technology brings to modern, proactive policing.

Building on the success of the previous two annual conferences, this year the focus was on transparency and privacy in the collation and use of data and intelligence gathered through the use of ANPR. There was also a discussion around the new national ANPR service and managing the transition from legacy systems.

ANPR is an established and effective technology that North Yorkshire Police have employed for a number of years. A further £1 million investment was made just over a year ago, to equip the force with enhanced, moveable cameras which have proved to be very successful.

ANPR works by reading the registration number of a vehicle, and after checking the number against a database of information, the system will raise an alarm if the vehicle is found to be linked to criminality. It is used by the police to prevent and detect crime, including counterterrorism, homicide, and serious and organised crime as well as helping in the search for vulnerable missing people and to target uninsured and untaxed vehicles.

With North Yorkshire being the largest, single county police force in England with 6,000 miles of roads, borders with seven other counties and a significant proportion of all detected crime in the area being committed by criminals travelling from neighbouring areas, ANPR has proved to be a valuable asset in the fight to detect, deter and disrupt criminality in the region.

Speaking about the conference, Acting Deputy Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, who is also the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead for ANPR, said: “The national conference is an important date in the policing calendar, which gives forces the opportunity to come together to share knowledge and discuss the future of this valuable technology. ANPR continues to be a vital tool that assists us in protecting the people and communities of North Yorkshire, by keeping us one step ahead of criminals who use our roads to carry out illegal activity.”

“The theme of the conference reflected the fact that police forces across the UK recognise their responsibility to not only protect people, but to also protect their privacy by ensuring that ANPR is used proportionately. I welcome the discussion that the conference raised around how we can balance our desire to be as transparent as possible, without sacrificing any of the security this technology helps us to provide.