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Friday, July 29, 2011

Big Brother is watching you: The town where EVERY car is tracked by police cameras - 29th July 2011

Police are tracking every single car that enters and leaves one market town, it has emerged.

Royston, in Hertfordshire, has had a set of police cameras installed on all roads leading in and out of it, recording the numberplate of every vehicle that passes them.

The automatic number-plate recognition system will check the plates against a variety of databases, studying them for links to crimes, and insurance and tax records, and alerting police accordingly.

The system also allows police to compile 'hotlists' of vehicles that they are interested in and which will be flagged up when the ANPR system

The details of the cars movements will stay on police records for two years, or five if the car is connected to a crime, the Guardian reported.

The system, which is operated regionally, has sparked fears that the data could be abused and has led to claims that it is a big brother network that the public are completely oblivious of.

But Inspector Andy Piper, the ANPR manager for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, and a Royston resident himself, insists that the system will not be abused.

He told the Guardian: 'We only deal with people we're interested in stopping - that's the criminal element that comes into our county intent on committing crime, and unsafe drivers, disqualified drivers, or people driving uninsured vehicles, who we want to take off the road.' Read More