WINDHOEK - City Police has introduced an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras that is able to identify vehicles that are associated with traffic offenses or other crimes at their roadblocks. ANPR scans individual vehicle number plates as a vehicle approaches a roadblock, and if there is a positive identification, an alarm is triggered allowing the traffic officers to stop the suspect.
While the new system will be mainly be used to execute warrants of arrests and issue summonses, the system can be used to trace people wanted for serious crimes ranging from murder to burglary to vehicle-related crime. The system is also able to identify motorists with outstanding traffic fines, false number plates, stolen vehicles or unregistered vehicles can also be identified by the system. According to City Police spokesperson Assistant Superintended for Public and Community Relations Cillie Kapolo the system was introduced to the public on Tuesday. She said with the increased use of ANPR, criminals will find it much difficult to outrun the long arm of the law.
Currently there are 30,000 outstanding warrants of arrest for various traffic violations hence the City Police will run the operation until the end of the month.
“Prosecution will be inevitable if there are outstanding fines or are in contempt of court resulting in the issuance of warrants or arrest, the driver of the vehicle upon positive identification will face immediate arrest. This is part of our efforts in bringing to justice those who believe that laws are made to be broken and are negligent to comply with the summonses to appear in court,” stated Kapolo in a media release.
Kapolo explained that ANPR is a system consisting of cameras and software that can recognise a number plate, capture an image of the number plate and the vehicle, and interpret the characters of the number plate by means of optical Character Recognition (OCR) into data that can then be used to interrogate various databases. Furthermore, Kapolo said City Police is making use of ANPR at roadblocks.
She explained the new system consists of laptop and state-of-the-art ANPR camera equipment which scans individual vehicle number plates as a vehicle approaches a roadblock.
“Drivers and vehicle owners are therefore encouraged to remove the risk of being stopped with an outstanding warrant of arrest by visiting the City Police head office at the corner of Sishen and Essen Street to effect payment immediately, and arrange for bail in order to avoid an arrest,” she said.