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017/2014: Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) – 04 November 2014

Executive Summary and recommendation:

The Commissioner is asked to approve a capital investment of £1,068,000 in Automatic Number Plate Recognition equipment, which is a critical measure to enhance North Yorkshire Police’s ability to gather intelligence on cross-border criminals, and deploy resources more effectively to combat crime in both rural and urban communities.

In autumn 2014, North Yorkshire Police moves into the implementation phase of the Operational Policing Model (OPM). Through the OPM we are changing the way we structure operational policing in order to reduce costs caused by duplication or inefficient systems, and target our resources – including people – where they will be most effective for the communities we serve.

The introduction of new technology underpins the OPM.  A critical strand of our technological approach is the enhancement of our current Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system, which is intrinsically linked to a number of other OPM reforms, and a key part of improving efficiency and productivity within budgetary challenges.

An ANPR system is a network of cameras, which is able to read the number plates of passing vehicles.  (It should be noted that these cameras are not designed to track “speed”).  This information can then be cross-referenced against local and national intelligence systems, to ascertain whether the vehicle owners are wanted in relation to any offences.  This intelligence can be used to support prosecution cases, and to target the accurate and timely deployment of officers to stop vehicles, disrupt criminals and make arrests.

ANPR is required to combat cross-border criminality.  This is especially pertinent in North Yorkshire which is surrounded by counties with higher crime rates, and where 25% of all detected crimes are committed by travelling offenders from outside the county, including offences such as burglary, rural crime and child sexual exploitation.  However the proportion of undetected crime committed by this group is suspected to be far higher. A high proportion of those offences committed by cross border criminality are of a serious acquisitive nature, and the vast majority of Organised Crime Groups (OCG) operating within North Yorkshire have cross border networks. ANPR presents the opportunity to monitor this vast road network in real time, and provides invaluable intelligence which can be exploited to target those offenders which cause the most serious harm. The fact that ANPR allows police resources to be targeted to a particular time and place is also particularly valuable, given North Yorkshire’s large geography which makes police presence especially challenging.

North Yorkshire Police is already using ANPR technology to support initiatives such as Operation Hawk.  However, additional investment is now required to build upon this success and increase our ability to police proactively, using real-time intelligence from ANPR to help predict and intercept criminal movements.  As well as assisting in ongoing investigations, this increased use of ANPR will help to make the North Yorkshire police area an unattractive prospect for cross-border criminals.

It is therefore proposed to triple our ANPR capability, to improve coverage of North Yorkshire’s road network, using a blend of different ANPR technologies appropriate to rural and urban geographies.  The precise details of the infrastructure and tactics for use are available to the Commissioner, but restricted for the public for necessary operational reasons.  The cost of the additional equipment will be approximately £1,068,000 based on current market estimates, together with ongoing revenue costs of approximately £186,000 per year.

The deployment of the new equipment will take into account the position of cameras from neighbouring police services, in order to maximize and coordinate our efforts.  In doing so we will be at the forefront of national best practice. Deployment will also be subject to a Privacy Impact Assessment, to ensure that positioning of cameras relates appropriately to threat, harm and risk.  North Yorkshire Police will also work with the appropriate regulatory authorities (the Information Commissioner’s Office, and the Surveillance Camera Commissioner) to ensure a transparent and proportionate use of this policing method.

In order to maximize the value from the investment, it is proposed to realign ANPR staffing, increasing the headcount by one member of staff, and broadening the roles to place a greater focus on intelligence.  This proposition would be subject to full staff consultation.

The number of criminal disruptions would be monitored to measure the success of the increased use of ANPR.  Disruption of criminals will ultimately prevent crime.

In summary, ANPR is considered to be a vital tool to underpin the targeted and intelligence-led appropriate that is being implemented through the OPM, and necessary investment for the protection of North Yorkshire’s communities.

Police and Crime Commissioner decision: Approved

Signature: signature
Date: 04 November 2014
Title: Police and Crime Commissioner

Part 1 – Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

  1. Introduction and background

The Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable for North Yorkshire have described within the Police and Crime Plan how they will protect the communities of North Yorkshire by providing a highly responsive and flexible police service. Technology has been identified as a key strand in delivering the vision of keeping the community safe and increasing individuals feeling of safety. One strand of that vision is the enhancement of the current Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) network that is in place. ANPR enables the targeted management of resources, which is more paramount than ever before. ANPR Intelligence can be gained by blending real-time and historical information which makes resourcing for targeting of criminals far more cost-effective. It can assist in tracing the location of vulnerable persons and people who have been abducted. Above all ANPR contributes positively to Community Confidence and Reassurance and to Crime Prevention and Reduction, and when used proportionately makes our Communities safe, and feel safe. The Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable for North Yorkshire are also committed to being open and transparent with the community so this investment in ANPR will include enhanced information sharing, including the introduction of road signage, with the public of North Yorkshire. However, for operational reasons this will not include the detail of the technical solutions used or the locations of cameras.

  1. Matters for consideration

To review and approve the capital and recurring revenue costs associated with the implementation of the ANPR investment programme. The approach recommended in this paper greatly increases the ANPR assets for North Yorkshire. It is recommended that a number of differing technological solutions are adopted and increased.  This increase aims to provide enhanced coverage and information to enable North Yorkshire Police to act more swiftly and effectively in preventing crime, and deterring criminals from coming to North Yorkshire to commit crime. The investment also compliments the infrastructure of the broader policing family in preventing and resolving serious crime and counter terrorism. However it is important to note that any increase in such technology needs to be balanced against the privacy of individuals that reside within our county. For this reason the approach adopted will be a flexible one that enables the ANPR technology to be moved and redeployed to reflect changing threats and privacy concerns, supported by strict internal and national governance arrangements.  This approach will ensure that those cameras which are not on the key strategic road network, will only remain in situ when there is an operational policing need to protect the community.

  1. Other options considered, if any

ANPR technology needs to be compliant to a set of national standards and therefore effectively exists as a catalogue of technical solutions. This paper has therefore considered all available technical solutions relating to ANPR and sought to blend those options that best meet the needs of North Yorkshire Police and its communities.

  1. Contribution to Police and Crime outcomes

ANPR has four primary functions which support the Police and Crime Plan Priority of Cutting Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour.

  • To identify criminal’s vehicle  movements in real time and provide an operational policing response to intercept and therefore deter and detect criminal activity from being undertaken within North Yorkshire. This prevent approach seeks to cut cross border crime and prevent residents of North Yorkshire from becoming victims of crime.
  • To provide an intelligence tool to identify criminal activity patterns within and across North Yorkshire to pursue those criminals causing most harm.
  • To provide intelligence support to ensure that resources are in the right place at the right time to effectively respond to ANPR, so that operational officer time is used as effectively as possible (linked with MAUDS and mobile data).
  • To provide intelligence and evidence to support the investigation of crime. This approach seeks to ensure, where appropriate, that ANPR is used as an investigative tool so that  successful prosecution in criminal investigations can be achieved. 
  1. Consultations carried out

ANPR falls within the remit of the Operating Policing Model work stream and therefore has been subject to full consultation as defined within that overarching structure. 

  1. Financial Implications/Value for money
  Capital Year 1 revenue Recurring revenue Total 5 year cost
Recommendations £1,068,000 £184,420 £186,520 £1,998,500

Chief Constable’s Chief Finance Officer Comments The costs quoted do not include any project management costs.  Resourcing is being considered overall outside the project. Funding of £1 million as previously been earmarked in the MTFP for the capital cost of ANPR (as part of the ISD Strategy). Recurring revenue costs of approximately £184,000 are not currently in the budget.  This project of itself is not expected to generate any savings, but will facilitate savings and efficiencies generated through the OPM, and these costs will be offset against the OPM savings.’

  1. Legal Implications

Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Acting Force Solicitor and Head of Legal Services is satisfied that this report does not ask the PCC for North Yorkshire to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

  1. Equality Implications

A full Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) has been undertaken and is included in the business case. The EIA has not shown a disproportionate effect on any individual or group of people.

  1. Human Resources Implications

All HR implications considered and satisfied. Public Access to information The Police and Crime Commissioner wishes to be as open and transparent as possible about the decisions he/she takes or are taken in his/her name. All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account and all advice received when reaching the decision. Part 1 of this Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain. The decision and information in Part 1 will be made available on the NYPCC web site within 2 working days of approval. Only where material is properly classified as restricted under the GPMS or if that material falls within the description at 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 will the Commissioner not disclose decisions and/or information provided to enable that decision to be made. In these instances, Part 2 of the Form will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted.  Information in Part 2 will not be published.

Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – YES       (please delete as appropriate) If Yes, what is the reason for restriction – The type, location and tactics that sit behind the use of ANPR assets cannot be disclosed as this would significantly reduce the viability of the asset and the operational effectiveness of North Yorkshire Police in preventing and detecting crime.

Originating Officer Declaration – Author name: Inspector Simon Williamson – Collar number: 1673


Name (Collar Number)

Date of completion (√)
Head of Departmenthas reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities. ACC Kennedy 23.10.2014
Legal AdviceLegal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge or such risk is outlined in Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice. Jane Wintermeyer – 3840 24.10.2014
Financial AdviceThe CC CFO has been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice. Jane Palmer – 4364 28.10.2014
Equalities AdviceEither there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice.  Author to complete as Equalities matters are mainstreamed within departments. Inspector Williamson – 1673 23.10.2014
HR AdviceHR advice has been sought in relation to any people related matters   Leanne Consett – 4217 23.10.2014


I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decisionSignature:     Inspector Simon Williamson                                                        Date:   23.10.2014


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