Automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates to create vehicle location data. It can use existing closed-circuit television, road-rule enforcement cameras, or cameras specifically designed for the task. ANPR is used by police forces around the world for law enforcement purposes, including to check if a vehicle is registeredor licensed. It is also used for electronic toll collection on pay-per-use roads and as a method of cataloguing the movements of traffic, for example by highways agencies.
Automated license plate reader (ALPR) technology allows law enforcement officers to quickly recognize expired tags and identify and locate stolen vehicles. But it’s also often instrumental in finding wanted and missing persons and solving a wide range of crimes, including homicides. Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) units now combine the latest in high definition, recognition and searches. The technology can assist with recovering stolen cars, investigating auto-related crime, missing or wanted person searches, revenue generating, and simplifying routine parking checks.
Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR). ALPR is a system of cameras and supporting software and server engines that capture license plate information and instantly compares plate numbers to a database of wanted criminals or persons of interest. ALPR is also used in the commercial industry for parking management, gated communities, and gas stations. It’s even being tested with the fast-food restaurant industry as a source of data intelligence for customer analysis.
ALPR cameras scan thousands of license plates in the same amount of time it takes an actual person to scan a hundred. When a license plate image is compared against a hotlist or whitelist and matched, an alert is signaled and the screen shows the vehicle and the reason for the alert. In the case of a whitelist, it provides the approval that the license plate/vehicle is approved to be in the location.
For Law Enforcement, license plate technology has become a force multiplier simply because it can scan tags with the camera system at a faster pace than the average officer or deputy could do in a single day.
While ALPR does not replace the intuitive skills of a police officer, it does act as a supplement, silently running in the background, to be on the lookout alongside an officer. Additionally, ALPR helps reduce budget constraints and allows agencies to utilize their resources more strategically.