Britain will be first country to monitor every car journey
>From 2006 Britain will be the first country where every journey by every car
will be monitored
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 22 December 2005

Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of
all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system
will hold the records for at least two years.

Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number
plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the
police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over
several years.

The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which are
being converted to read number plates automatically night and day to provide
24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as towns, cities,
ports and petrol-station forecourts.

By next March a central database installed alongside the Police National
Computer in Hendon, north London, will store the details of 35 million
number-plate "reads" per day. These will include time, date and precise
location, with camera sites monitored by global positioning satellites.

Already there are plans to extend the database by increasing the storage
period to five years and by linking thousands of additional cameras so that
details of up to 100 million number plates can be fed each day into the
central databank.

Senior police officers have described the surveillance network as possibly
the biggest advance in the technology of crime detection and prevention
since the introduction of DNA fingerprinting.

But others concerned about civil liberties will be worried that the
movements of millions of law-abiding people will soon be routinely recorded
and kept on a central computer database for years.

The new national data centre of vehicle movements will form the basis of a
sophisticated surveillance tool that lies at the heart of an operation
designed to drive criminals off the road.

In the process, the data centre will provide unrivalled opportunities to
gather intelligence data on the movements and associations of organised
gangs and terrorist suspects whenever they use cars, vans or motorcycles.

The scheme is being orchestrated by the Association of Chief Police Officers
(Acpo) and has the full backing of ministers who have sanctioned the
spending of £24m this year on equipment.

More than 50 local authorities have signed agreements to allow the police to
convert thousands of existing traffic cameras so they can read number plates
automatically. The data will then be transmitted to Hendon via a secure
police communications network.

Chief constables are also on the verge of brokering agreements with the
Highways Agency, supermarkets and petrol station owners to incorporate their
own CCTV cameras into the network. In addition to cross-checking each number
plate against stolen and suspect vehicles held on the Police National
Computer, the national data centre will also check whether each vehicle is
lawfully licensed, insured and has a valid MoT test certificate.

"Every time you make a car journey already, you'll be on CCTV somewhere. The
difference is that, in future, the car's index plates will be read as well,"
said Frank Whiteley, Chief Constable of Hertfordshire and chairman of the
Acpo steering committee on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).

"What the data centre should be able to tell you is where a vehicle was in
the past and where it is now, whether it was or wasn't at a particular
location, and the routes taken to and from those crime scenes. Particularly
important are associated vehicles," Mr Whiteley said.

The term "associated vehicles" means analysing convoys of cars, vans or
trucks to see who is driving alongside a vehicle that is already known to be
of interest to the police. Criminals, for instance, will drive somewhere in
a lawful vehicle, steal a car and then drive back in convoy to commit
further crimes "You're not necessarily interested in the stolen vehicle.
You're interested in what's moving with the stolen vehicle," Mr Whiteley
explained.

According to a strategy document drawn up by Acpo, the national data centre
in Hendon will be at the heart of a surveillance operation that should deny
criminals the use of the roads.

"The intention is to create a comprehensive ANPR camera and reader
infrastructure across the country to stop displacement of crime from area to
area and to allow a comprehensive picture of vehicle movements to be
captured," the Acpo strategy says.

"This development forms the basis of a 24/7 vehicle movement database that
will revolutionise arrest, intelligence and crime investigation
opportunities on a national basis," it says.

Mr Whiteley said MI5 will also use the database. "Clearly there are values
for this in counter-terrorism," he said.

"The security services will use it for purposes that I frankly don't have
access to. It's part of public protection. If the security services did not
have access to this, we'd be negligent."

Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of
all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system
will hold the records for at least two years.

Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number
plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the
police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over
several years.

The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which are
being converted to read number plates automatically night and day to provide
24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as towns, cities,
ports and petrol-station forecourts.

By next March a central database installed alongside the Police National
Computer in Hendon, north London, will store the details of 35 million
number-plate "reads" per day. These will include time, date and precise
location, with camera sites monitored by global positioning satellites.

Already there are plans to extend the database by increasing the storage
period to five years and by linking thousands of additional cameras so that
details of up to 100 million number plates can be fed each day into the
central databank.

Senior police officers have described the surveillance network as possibly
the biggest advance in the technology of crime detection and prevention
since the introduction of DNA fingerprinting.

But others concerned about civil liberties will be worried that the
movements of millions of law-abiding people will soon be routinely recorded
and kept on a central computer database for years.

The new national data centre of vehicle movements will form the basis of a
sophisticated surveillance tool that lies at the heart of an operation
designed to drive criminals off the road.

In the process, the data centre will provide unrivalled opportunities to
gather intelligence data on the movements and associations of organised
gangs and terrorist suspects whenever they use cars, vans or motorcycles.

The scheme is being orchestrated by the Association of Chief Police Officers
(Acpo) and has the full backing of ministers who have sanctioned the
spending of £24m this year on equipment.

More than 50 local authorities have signed agreements to allow the police to
convert thousands of existing traffic cameras so they can read number plates
automatically. The data will then be transmitted to Hendon via a secure
police communications network.

Chief constables are also on the verge of brokering agreements with the
Highways Agency, supermarkets and petrol station owners to incorporate their
own CCTV cameras into the network. In addition to cross-checking each number
plate against stolen and suspect vehicles held on the Police National
Computer, the national data centre will also check whether each vehicle is
lawfully licensed, insured and has a valid MoT test certificate.

"Every time you make a car journey already, you'll be on CCTV somewhere. The
difference is that, in future, the car's index plates will be read as well,"
said Frank Whiteley, Chief Constable of Hertfordshire and chairman of the
Acpo steering committee on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).

"What the data centre should be able to tell you is where a vehicle was in
the past and where it is now, whether it was or wasn't at a particular
location, and the routes taken to and from those crime scenes. Particularly
important are associated vehicles," Mr Whiteley said.

The term "associated vehicles" means analysing convoys of cars, vans or
trucks to see who is driving alongside a vehicle that is already known to be
of interest to the police. Criminals, for instance, will drive somewhere in
a lawful vehicle, steal a car and then drive back in convoy to commit
further crimes "You're not necessarily interested in the stolen vehicle.
You're interested in what's moving with the stolen vehicle," Mr Whiteley
explained.

According to a strategy document drawn up by Acpo, the national data centre
in Hendon will be at the heart of a surveillance operation that should deny
criminals the use of the roads.

"The intention is to create a comprehensive ANPR camera and reader
infrastructure across the country to stop displacement of crime from area to
area and to allow a comprehensive picture of vehicle movements to be
captured," the Acpo strategy says.

"This development forms the basis of a 24/7 vehicle movement database that
will revolutionise arrest, intelligence and crime investigation
opportunities on a national basis," it says.

Mr Whiteley said MI5 will also use the database. "Clearly there are values
for this in counter-terrorism," he said.

"The security services will use it for purposes that I frankly don't have
access to. It's part of public protection. If the security services did not
have access to this, we'd be negligent."


---
You are currently subscribed to telecom-cities as: [EMAIL PROTECTED] To 
unsubscribe send a blank email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Manage your mail settings at 
http://forums.nyu.edu/cgi-bin/nyu.pl?enter=telecom-cities
RSS feed of list traffic: 
http://www.mail-archive.com/telecom-cities@forums.nyu.edu/maillist.xml

Reply via email to