Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey
Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey

New technology will capture cars passing crime hot spots

POLICE will soon target crime hot spots by digitally capturing number plates with the help of Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey said ANPR, which has been used in relation to road safety since 2011, would be used for broader law enforcement purposes for the first time in Queensland.

"Units will be trialled in unmarked vehicles over 12 months in areas with significant crime hot spots including burglaries, sexual assaults, stolen vehicles and drug related offences," Mr Dempsey said.

"ANPR captures an image of a vehicle's registration number, an image of the vehicle and the time, date and location of the photograph, all of which will be used to help in police investigations.

"The ANPR units will be another tool police officers have to help them keep Queensland communities safe.

"The government is making sure police have the best equipment available, which is why in the 2013-14 budget $70.6 million was set aside for new and upgraded operational equipment."

Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said the expansion of ANPR to broader purposes could include using the technology to identify the movements of vehicles or people implicated in criminal offences.

"ANPR is an efficient technology that will be used as an additional tool to help police investigations," Deputy Commissioner Barnett said.

Deputy Commissioner Barnett said accountability mechanisms would ensure the appropriate deployment of ANPR units and address any privacy concerns.

"ANPR units will only be deployed for broader law enforcement purposes under the authority of a commissioned officer," he said.

"This initiative will be thoroughly evaluated at the conclusion of the trial."



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