Saturday, 21 November 2009

Police seize cars in number plate check

ABOUT half the motorists travelling into Solihull town centre and stopped by police using number plate recognition software had their cars seized.

Of the 30 directed to a checkpoint in Olton, 14 were seized for “document related offences”, one had its “illegal” window tint removed, one got a fixed penalty notice and one was arrested.

No reasons were given by Solihull police for the last two actions, detailed in the blog of Inspector Phil Radbourne.

He writes: “We wanted to target vehicles that were using main routes into Solihull town centre and the surrounding area that may have been illegal or intent on committing crime in our neighbourhood.”

The software scans number plates and tells officers which vehicles to stop, he said.

He said: “The vehicle may be reported as stolen, have no insurance or tax or may be of interest to us for some reason.

“Police officers sometimes rely on a feeling when they see a vehicle; the manner of driving, what the driver did on seeing us, obvious offences being committed etc.”

He said: “This is still very important, as a computer does not have the capability to do this.

“However, the ANPR will tell us immediately if we have an interest in that vehicle and will take away any human error or intelligence lead guesswork.”

Insp Radbourne said: “Solihull will not tolerate people driving illegally.”