Why we use ANPR
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology is used within South Yorkshire Police to help detect, deter and disrupt criminality at a local, force, regional and national level, including tackling travelling criminals, Organised Crime Groups and terrorists.
ANPR provides lines of enquiry and evidence in the investigation of crime and is used by forces throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
How it works
As a vehicle passes an ANPR camera, its registration number is read and instantly checked against database records of vehicles of interest.
Police officers can intercept and stop a vehicle, check it for evidence and, where necessary, make arrests. The use of ANPR in this way has proved to be important in the detection of many offences, including locating stolen vehicles, tackling uninsured vehicle use and uncovering cases of major crime. It also allows officers’ attention to be drawn to offending vehicles whilst allowing law abiding drivers to go about their business unhindered.
Access to stored data ANPR data from South Yorkshire Police is submitted to the National ANPR Data Centre (NADC) where it is stored together with similar data from other forces for a period of two years. We have clear rules to control access to ANPR data to ensure that access is for legitimate investigation purposes.
Staff only have access to ANPR data if it is relevant to their role, and the majority of those who have permission may only do so for a maximum period of 90 days from the date it was collected. Some staff are authorised to access data for up to 2 years subject to authorisation of a senior officer. After 90 days, access may only be for serious, major or counter terrorism investigations and after 12 months only for major investigations and counter terrorism purposes.
Searches of ANPR data can confirm whether vehicles associated with a known criminal has been in the area at the time of a crime and can dramatically speed up investigations.
In addition to being mounted within police vehicles, ANPR cameras within South Yorkshire are used at fixed locations where they will help to detect, deter and disrupt criminality. In line with national policy, we do not disclose details of our fixed locations as this information is likely to be of benefit to offenders and if known could reduce the value of ANPR to policing. National guidelines state that, if South Yorkshire Police proposes to install additional ANPR cameras, an assessment must be conducted that demonstrates a clear need, taking account of the following factors: • national security and counter terrorism; • serious, organised and major crime; • local crime; • community confidence and reassurance, and crime prevention and reduction. Further information can be obtained from www.npcc.police.uk/anpr
The Chief Constable is the data controller for the ANPR system operated within South Yorkshire.
Any requests for information or complaints should be made to
South Yorkshire Police
Information Compliance Unit
Professional Standards Department
Unit 20 Sheffield 35A Business Park