Wednesday, 26 April 2023 - 3:31pm |
National News

Police release Automatic Number Plate Recognition audit findings

2 min read

Police has completed an extensive audit into Police use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) through two provider platforms.

ANPR is a technology Police uses to read motor vehicle number plates. It is an effective tool to support Police in preventing and investigating crime in our communities and is regularly used to assist with serious investigations including homicides, assaults, and aggravated robberies.

Its use as an investigative tool has provide highly valuable in holding offenders accountable as well as preventing further harm.

As ANPR has become firmly established as a part of everyday policing and with the number of cameras across the network expanding, there has been a significant increase in the use of the ANPR over the last few years. In response to this increased use, Police has brought forward a planned audit into Police use of ANPR provider platforms. 

Assistant Commissioner Mike Johnson says this audit is an important part of ensuring all Police staff are adhering to our guidelines and policy around the use of ANPR.  

“It involved examining and cross referencing over 350,000 ANPR reviews from 2018 to 2022, which has built a full picture of ANPR data accessed by Police.  The audit has confirmed that the vast majority of Police are using this tool within Police guidelines and can be trusted to use ANPR data responsibly.

“Of the many reviews audited only a small number of cases involving five Police staff warranted referrals to the Integrity and Conduct Group for follow-up,” says Assistant Commissioner Johnson.

“It was disappointing to see that on a small number of occasions staff had not used the technology correctly, but overwhelmingly the review has shown how dedicated our staff are to using ANPR to help make our communities safer.

“It also showed that there is considerable overlap in the reviews between the two platforms used by Police, as they are providing the same service with access to different cameras, which has contributed to the increase in the number of reviews.

“Opportunities to better prevent misuse and errors, as well as making it easier to detect if action outside of Police policy happens in the future, were also key findings from the audit.

“Progress is already being made with both platform providers on ways to strengthen these controls. This has involved consulting with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the Police Association about the audit and its recommendations”, says Assistant Commissioner Johnson.

“This is audit is an important first step in our work to safeguard the use of this technology. Moving forward regular auditing of staff use of ANPR platforms will be included into Police’s programme of internal audit and assurance work to provide continued reassurance about the use of ANPR provider platforms.”


Issued by Police Media Centre

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