ANPR Success One Year One

1 July 2010, 06:00 | Updated: 1 July 2010, 09:13

The Constabulary's drive to tackle criminals and unsafe, uninsured drivers, celebrates its first year with over 1,000 arrests and over 1,500 unsafe vehicles taken off the road by the Intercept Teams alone.

Operation Sentinel, which launched in June 2009, involves not only the two Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Intercept Teams but every Road Policing vehicle, the 94 Neighbourhood Teams, the Special Constabulary and the Force Communications Room amongst others, in operating and processing ANPR cameras, data and arrests.

The Intercept Teams arrested 1,065 individuals and seized 1,577 vehicles between June 1 2009 and May 31 2010. In addition, other teams across the force have arrested hundreds of people using ANPR to identify them as 'wanted' for offences or the driver of an illegal vehicle.

Frank Whiteley is the Chief Constable at Hertfordshire Police. He's been telling Heart:

“We have seen countless successes over the past twelve months with Operation Sentinel, which has undoubtedly contributed to keeping the county a safe place for road users and our residents.

“ANPR has proved itself an invaluable tool to modern policing, bringing hundreds of criminals including burglars, drug dealers and dangerous uninsured drivers to justice.

“I’d like to reassure our law-abiding local communities that we will continue to relentlessly pursue those criminals and dangerous, uninsured drivers who put others safety and well-being at risk.”

Officers also tackle those who drive unsafely by talking on their mobile phones or not wearing a seatbelt, amongst other offences, with drivers facing Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) and points on their licence.

How does ANPR work?

ANPR devices are used by police around the UK to detect and remove serious criminals including burglars, robbers, drug dealers and fraudsters - and unsafe vehicles and unsafe drivers from the roads.

ANPR instantly highlights suspicious vehicles to officers so the vehicles can be stopped and the ‘flagged’ issues investigated. The camera can read a number plate every second, and compares it against a variety of local and national databases. It offers a more targeted approach than traditional methods, meaning fewer law-abiding motorists have their journeys interrupted and more criminals and unsafe vehicles are taken off the road.

Interested in how ANPR works? Visit the Herts Police channel on Youtube at for more.