North Yorkshire Police’s ability to tackle cross-border crime received a boost as they make an additional £1m investment in car number plate recognition technology to target travelling criminals.
- Quarter of all detected crimes in North Yorkshire are perpetrated by cross-border criminals
At present, a quarter of all detected crimes in North Yorkshire are perpetrated by cross-border criminals, who take advantage of the region’s large geography and road network to prey on local communities.
As well as theft and rural crimes, cross-border criminals can be involved in a wide range of other offences, including child sexual exploitation.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is already used by many forces (including North Yorkshire) to identify criminals en route, and build intelligence on their movement patterns. However, the new investment will allow North Yorkshire Police to increase its coverage across the region, refine its intelligence team, and deploy officers proactively to disrupt criminals in their vehicles.
Chief Constable Dave Jones said: I am delighted with this decision to improve our capability in tackling cross-border crime. It is an area where we are already very successful, through initiatives like Operation Hawk, but this will take us to the next level. However, ANPR is just one piece of the jigsaw.
Even more important are the changes we are making across the service to reduce red-tape, bring in new ways of working, and generally improve the service we offer to the people of North Yorkshire.
These are challenging times for police services across the country, but through our Operational Policing Model we are doing everything we can to ensure that the police service is effective and efficient, and that officers spend their time where it really matters – out in the community keeping people safe.
The decision is part of a wider programme of activity, called the Operational Policing Model (OPM).The OPM includes a series of initiatives to improve efficiency across the police service, target offenders more precisely, and bring swifter justice to victims of crime. Technology is a major feature of the programme, as part of an overall drive to reduce bureaucracy, so resources can be focused on frontline police out in the community.
The ANPR decision is therefore the first of a series of planned improvements, which will include mobile handsets for officers in 2015, to minimize paperwork.
The Operational Policing Model is now moving into a new implementation phase, which will last until April. As as Automatic Number Plate Recognition, it will include the introduction of Investigation Hubs to streamline and speed up the way the police investigate crimes, and changes to the intelligence service, to create a more direct link between intelligence gathering and the tasking of officers on the ground,
Julia Mulligan, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: Cross-border criminality is a major issue for North Yorkshire, as we border on so many other counties. It is vitally important that the police have the tools they need to target these criminals effectively, so we can make it clear that we will not allow our communities to be prey to their activities.
The investment I have approved for ANPR is a significant one, but it will put North Yorkshire right at the forefront of this type of proactive policing, and give officers every chance to stop criminals in their tracks. When combined with the other changes that North Yorkshire Police are making, this will make a really positive difference.