25 July 2017

Making better use of ANPR

It’s been over three decades since the first ANPR solution for policing was created by the UK’s Police Scientific Development Branch yet the global market is still growing strongly at around 13% a year.

The UK leads the world in the use of ANPR technology in policing but using it to capture licence plate details is not even scratching the surface when it comes to its potential. So how might police use ANPR better?

Here’s a few examples:


Many ANPR systems can now read and record much more than number plates. Police can use them to not only capture suspicious vehicle activity but also for criminal patterns, supporting crime prevention and community safety.


Using ANPR alongside penalty notice enforcement systems helps the police to identify a range of traffic offences such as speeding or running red lights. This information is passed to the penalty notice enforcement system, which automatically generates notices of intended prosecution. Giving the public secure access to the evidence from the cameras makes it easier for the police and public alike.

Theft and fraud

The number of drivers on the road without tax or insurance papers would be impossible to track manually, let alone enforce. A fixed or car mounted ANPR camera linked to a vehicle database could immediately be cross checked against insurance databases as well as stolen vehicles.

Predictive policing

Real-time analysis can enable officers to predict criminal activity and intercept offenders prior to an incident taking place by using complex algorithms and analytical data.

Outside of policing, traffic management systems are becoming smarter by the day, with the integration of ANPR technology with traffic light and variable speed limit solutions keeping the road network running smoothly. It can also help automate toll payments and support innovative traffic trials, like the odd/even pilot in Delhi that was trialled to significantly reduce pollution by alternating access to the city depending on the vehicle’s registration details.

It’s no surprise that the market for ANPR is growing so strongly, and within excess of 45 billion reads already in the UK national database it’s a source of big data that is supporting safer roads and communities and is likely to do a lot more.

Stewart Rogers, Business Lead for ANPR



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