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10 March 2010, 16:00
In February the newly formed ANPR Intercept Team made a total of 36 arrests across the force.
14 arrests were made for vehicle crime, seven for drug offences, four on warrant and three thefts across the county. Other arrests included violence, burglary, possession of an offensive weapon and driving whilst disqualified.
Three stolen vehicles were also recovered and cocaine worth several thousands pounds was seized in Bedford, as well as a handgun, taser, hunting knife and three balaclavas in Luton.
Two men were arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle after a brief pursuit and another suspected offender arrested for a similar theft was also shown to be wanted for deception offences in London.
Bedfordshire Police Roads Policing Unit formed a dedicated Automatic Number Policing Recognition (ANPR) Intercept Team on February 1st 2010 to target criminals through their use of the county's roads and is monitored 24 hours a day.
Chief Inspector Jane Aspin, who leads the team, has been telling Heart:
"Having a dedicated Intercept Team is helping to drive down crime. ANPR is such a powerful tool and can be used to trace suspects' vehicles wanted in connection with any offence, whenever there is any intelligence involving a motor vehicle. Our aim is to relentlessly pursue criminals and raise public confidence by ensuring the best use of ANPR and other technology."
ANPR works by dedicated cameras reading number plates and comparing them against a variety of databases, including the Police National Computer (PNC).
In January Bedfordshire Police left an operation involving seven forces, codenamed Utah during which 129 vehicles were stopped resulting in 10 arrests with further misdemeanours recorded by VOSA, the UK Borders Agency, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, DVLA, HM Courts Warrants and Department of Work and Pensions who were supporting the operation.