Success of Operation Safer Bristol cleans up Bristol's roads

Bristol's roads are officially a safer place to be in 2009 as a result of the continuing success of Operation Safer Bristol's Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) campaign.

The Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operation is a multi-agency campaign that has been taking place two days a week since Operation Safer Bristol began on October 13 2008. In this time a total of 1,639 vehicles have been stopped, 303 vehicles seized, 128 arrests made, 549 fixed penalties issued and nine stolen vehicles have been recovered. These results take the six-month campaign well ahead of target.

Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems instantly check up to 3,000 vehicles an hour against various databases of intelligence provided by police officers, Crimestoppers, the DVLA and other forces about vehicles used by disqualified drivers, people wanted on warrant and those who are suspected of committing crime.

If a suspicious vehicle is identified by Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), police units intercept to carry out checks on the vehicle and its occupants. The expertise of other agencies such as VOSA, Customs and Excise, Highways, DVLA, Borders and Immigration, DWP and the Environment Agency can then be called upon.

The majority of arrests made during the campaign have been for theft of motor vehicles. Four men were arrested in Fishponds in November at an Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) checkpoint in Fishponds for their involvement in a burglary in Dundry at the beginning of October. The driver was also wanted for driving whilst disqualified and theft of motor vehicles in the North Somerset area.

Additionally, an Audi estate was stopped in January in Hanham displaying stolen number plates. When the vehicle was stopped it was also discovered that the vehicle had incorrect index numbers which related to another vehicle stolen during a burglary in Wedmore November. The driver was subsequently arrested for theft of a motor vehicle and burglary.

Brian McCutcheon, Chair of the Safer Bristol Partnership which funds the exercise commented: "Operation Safer Bristol is a flagship initiative from the Safer Bristol Partnership. It brings together all the agencies and the voluntary sector, who share in the aspiration to improve safety and quality of life for our communities.

"Keeping our streets safe is an extremely important element of this and the Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operation has been highly successful, making great strides towards ensuring our city is safe from crime and the fear of crime."

The Safer Bristol Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) campaign will continue to crack down on criminals on Bristol's roads for the next few months.

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