21 May 2010, 05:03 | Updated: 21 May 2010, 05:29
There's been a major police operation on the M25, M1 and A1M in Hertfordshire this week, using ANPR technology to target criminals and unsafe drivers.
Herts Police joined up with six other forces to arrest 11 people and took 32 unsafe or illegal vehicles off the road.
The arrests were made for disqualified driving, theft of metal, attempted burglary, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of drugs, wanted for failing to appear at court for a drugs offence, wanted for harassment, possession of criminal property and attempting to pervert the course of justice as well as illegal entry to the UK.
ANPR cameras instantly recognise suspicious vehicles so they can be stopped and the drivers investigated. Hertfordshire’s ANPR Manager, Inspector Andy Piper, told Heart that it’s not another Big Brother scheme targeting innocent people:
“Members of the public going about their daily business won’t be affected by this operation at all. We’re purely interested in those who are intent on criminal activity, and those driving vehicles which shouldn’t be on the road.”
He added: "Whilst ANPR technology is a tool we use on a daily basis in Hertfordshire under Operation Sentinel, an operation on such a large scale as this demonstrates our commitment to our law-abiding communities to keep the region and its roads safe, and gives a sharp reminder to any criminals tempted to come into the county that they are likely to be caught."
Meanwhile in April the Bedfordshire Police ANPR Intercept Team made a total of 60 arrests across the force, nearly double the amount made the previous months since the unit's launch in February.
Thirteen of the arrests were made for vehicle crime, 14 for drug offences, seven for burglary, two for warrants and three for violence offences.
Other arrests included possession of an offensive weapon, driving whilst disqualified, theft and drink driving.
Five stolen vehicles were also recovered and other incidents of note involving the Intercept teams include the recovery of £120k worth of stolen plant and the arrest of a man for the abduction of a child.
Other arrests also resulted on the recovery of class A drugs and thousands of pounds worth of cash believed to be the proceeds of crime.