ON THE BEAT: Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said unregistered, uninsured and unlicensed driving would be targeted.
ON THE BEAT: Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said unregistered, uninsured and unlicensed driving would be targeted.

Patrol cars cop an upgrade

UNLICENSED, unregistered and uninsured drivers beware - you're about to become a whole lot easier to catch.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology has been fitted to patrol cars in the Coffs-Clarence Local Area Command - the first in regional NSW to use the software in patrol vehicles.

Fitted to the top of patrol cars, the ANPR computer can scan more than 3000 licence plates an hour and match them against registration details on a database.

The image is sent to a computer system in the car, where an alarm is triggered if the registered owner or the vehicle is listed as being involved in the commission of an offence.

Coffs-Clarence LAC crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said unregistered, uninsured and unlicensed driving would be targeted.

"Mobilising the technology gives us greater ability to detect and remove high risk unauthorised drivers from our roads," he said.

Detective Inspector Jameson said it was possible to flick back through the images taken by the cameras to determine if the wanted vehicle had passed by.

"This is the first time the technology has been installed in general duties police vehicles," he said.

"It's a great resource and it makes policing just that little bit easier."

Police officers download a new database each morning before clocking-on for their shift.

The cameras are part of a $7 million rollout across NSW.

How it works

- ANPR technology has been around for several decades and is increasingly being used by police in Australia.

- High-definition infra-red digital cameras capture an image or a partial image of the number plate.

- Fixed or onboard ruggedised processors use optical character recognition software to convert the grabbed image to a database.

- An onboard display in the police vehicle presents the results.

- The cameras can also work at night.



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