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Victoria Police arm highway patrol officers with real-time number plate recognition

Victoria Police arm highway patrol officers with real-time number plate recognition

ANPR helps police detect stolen and unregistered vehicles and crack down on offences including traffic violations and speeding

Victoria Police will fit out 221 highway patrol vehicles with cloud-based automatic number plate recognition technology (ANPR) and in-car video to help officers quickly scan thousands of number plates and identify dangerous and unauthorised drivers in real-time.

The five year, state-wide managed service contract with Motorola Solutions, valued at over $17 million, will help police detect stolen and unregistered vehicles and crack down on offences including traffic violations, and speeding.

“The technology provides us with the capability to check vehicles registrations at a rapid rate, detecting motorists driving unlicensed, unregistered, driving stolen cars and with stolen plates,” according to road policing command acting assistant commissioner Michael Grainger.

The Victorian police expects the first five vehicles will be on the road in early 2019 with three further deployments completing the 221 unit roll out in 2021.

Grainger said the high-resolution technology will also increase protection and accountability for interactions between police and the public through the collection of high quality video and audio recordings that can be submitted as evidence in court.

“In addition to increasing our ability to identify and remove dangerous drivers from the road, the inclusion of in-car video provides an evidentiary tool with audio and visual evidence able to be recorded and produced in court,” he said.

“It’s hoped also through increasing the public’s awareness of the possibility of being recorded, will deter and assist in de-escalating potential incidents, increasing officer safety."

The police said a review of fatal collisions in 2016 revealed that unauthorised drivers were at fault in 16 per cent of cases and that almost 20 per cent of injury collisions involving an unregistered vehicle also involved an unauthorised driver.

Motorola Solutions A/NZ vice-president and managing director, Steve Crutchfield, said this type of technology has huge implications for Victoria’s police and citizens.

Motorola Solutions' Steve Crutchfield
Motorola Solutions' Steve Crutchfield

“By combining ANPR detection with in-car video, this solution will provide high quality visual and audio corroboration of incidents and offences witnessed by police. Solutions like this have been proven to increase accountability and even make individuals modify their behaviour when they know they are being filmed, contributing to greater safety for all road users and police officers.”

He said this kind of technology could benefit other state police forces. “Fresh and reliable number plate data provides public safety agencies with valuable insights into road user behaviour.”

Meantime, Victoria Police has a long history with Motorola Solutions. The data communications and telecommunications equipment provider also manages the networks that provide Victoria Police with mission-critical radio communications and narrowband data services. 

It also provides Victoria Police with a mobility managed service to increase situational awareness, safety and productivity for police officers on the front line with a purpose-built mobility application to help officers manage their daily workflows.

The latest agreement with Motorola Solutions gives Victoria Police the flexibility to add enhancements to the program over time as vehicle and video standards and technologies mature.

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Tags Cloudmanaged serviceVictoria PoliceMotorola Solutionsradio communicationshigh-resolution technologyunauthorised driversaudio and visual evidenceevidentiary tooldangerous drivers(ANPR)narrowband data servicesautomatic number plate recognitiondata and telecommunications

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