The doubling of Northamptonshire’s ANPR network has resulted in 340 arrests, serious criminals thwarted, and a clear message that this county is a hostile place for criminals.
ANPR – Automatic Number Plate Recognition – reads the registration of passing vehicles and checks them across several databases, raising the alert if a vehicle is stolen or linked to crime.
In December 2020, Chief Constable Nick Adderley and Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner – Stephen Mold, announced that 150 new camera sites would be installed across Northamptonshire to increase coverage across rural areas and major towns as well as on the county borders.
The £1.3 million investment has achieved significant results in the past eight months with 340 arrests made, 627 vehicle seizures, 310 intelligence-led searches, and 1026 traffic offences identified.
Among the good results are the following:
In February 2021, intelligence led to a taxi being stopped in Northampton. Officers searched the vehicle and the occupants, discovering a large amount of both Class A and B drugs. In total 108 wraps of Class A drugs with an estimated street value of £6,000 and £1,300 in cash was seized and taken off the streets of Northamptonshire. Two men were arrested following the stop.
- In April, 2021, six males entered a property in Kettering armed with machetes and forced the victim to hand over nearly £2000 in cash and other high value items. Enquiries by officers identified a vehicle believed to be involved in the offence. The vehicle activated ANPR and subsequently failed to stop for officers. Officers pursued the vehicle and a male decamped. A containment was put on the area and with help from the police dog handler the male was found and arrested.
- In May 2021, a property was burgled, and several firearms, items of jewellery and a quantity of cash were stolen. A male was identified through police inquires and his vehicle added to ANPR systems. The vehicle was subsequently stopped by officers and the suspect arrested for burglary.
- In May 2021, a vehicle linked to multiple thefts of purses from elderly victims in the Lincolnshire area activated a camera entering Northamptonshire. Officers responded to the ANPR hit and managed to stop it in Welford Road, Northampton. Three men were arrested and taken into custody, undoubtedly preventing further offences.
- In June 2021, police received reports of an altercation in Northampton. Officers attended and found a male with multiple stab wounds. Quick actions by officers at the scene identified a vehicle that had been used in the offence. The vehicle’s registration was added to the ANPR system which was then subsequently stopped by armed officers. One male in the vehicle was arrested for grievous bodily harm.
- In July 2021, one of the new ANPR Intel Officers identified a vehicle containing a missing 15-year-old girl at risk of CSE which we stopped and found her to be in company with a man in his 60s. He was promptly arrested for child abduction.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “The results that have been achieved through our investment in additional ANPR capacity speak for themselves. These additional ANPR cameras and staff members are a fantastic resource, supporting Northamptonshire Police officers and staff in their work to target people who come to the county to commit crime and cause harm.
“These success stories show how the appropriate use of technology is helping Northamptonshire Police to deny criminals the use our county’s roads. Good work is taking place across the county to prevent crime and support victims, and I am pleased to see that our investment in ANPR is playing an important part in making Northamptonshire safer.”
Chief Constable Nick Adderley, said: “In the eight months since we began installing these 150 new cameras – ANPR, and the team which sits behind it, have proven their worth several times over.
“Without their capability, many of the arrests we have made here simply would not have happened and others would have taken hours and hours of time and resource, not to mention lengthy and anxious waits for the victims.
“Increasing our ANPR capability has not only enabled us to put a ring of steel around the county to prevent and detect crime, but it also enables us to better protect vulnerable people. I look forward to more good results.”