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Manchester tackles city crime with widespread ANPR adoption

Metronet : 05 June, 2008  (Application Story)
Wireless communication system used by Greater Manchester Police to create ANPR network to assist in the fight against crime in the city.
Manchester is thought to be the first city outside London to benefit from a network of ANPR cameras in and around the City; which now makes it virtually impossible to drive a car into the centre without having its licence plate, colour and time of entry recorded.

The initiative by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is intended to reinforce the fight against crime, terrorism and vehicle theft.

The cameras, which are located on street furniture, employ Manchester Metronet's wireless network infrastructure to transfer c600,000 ANPR reads each day back to GMP's back office ANPR system in real-time where data is to be held for a period of five years.

The use of wireless technology to support ANPR data transmission to this extent is believed by Metronet to be unique.

Commenting on this, Mike George, ANPR Project Manager for GMP said, "GMP has historically invested in vehicle based ANPR systems which have proven effective as a mobile solution. Moving forward GMP wanted to implement a number of fixed ANPR sites in and around Greater Manchester. To this end, the availability of Metronet wireless connectivity in an urban environment has given us an ease of installation and greater flexibility over traditional fibre-optic cable networks that have traditionally been employed for this type of project."

Operations Director, James McCall, highlighted the advantages of Metronet's wireless network over fibre: "We were able to deploy an entire network inside two weeks and retain the option to move cameras easily and quickly if required; all at a fraction of the cost that would be associated with fibre."

The Company claims that its wireless network service is proven to offer a quality of service and availability that is equivalent to fibre which, it suggests, makes the Metronet a compelling proposition.

The back office ANPR system records vehicle details and then checks them against information stored in a variety of databases, including the Police National Computer, DVLA databases and also local police intelligence databases with alarms being raised as specified. The system can identify stolen vehicles, track cars used by terrorists, criminals, banned drivers and it can even spot tax and insurance dodgers.

Commenting on the project, Assistant Chief Constable Dave Thompson said the new fixed camera sites "will bring enormous benefits to the police and aid us in protecting our communities".
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