Chief praises vital work of small police unit

A police chief has praised the use of a small key piece of equipment while dispelling myths it is used to spy on people.

Monday, 8th February 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 8th February 2021, 12:34 pm
Detective Superintendent Michael Barton has praised the vital work of Northumbria Police's Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Unit.

Northumbria Police’s head of Intelligence has praised the work of one of the Force’s most specialised teams for their relentless efforts in helping to safeguard some of the area’s most vulnerable and at risk people.

The small team which make up our Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Unit assist in some of the Force’s most complex investigations and safeguarding efforts.

They are used to locate sexual assault or domestic abuse suspects, as well as finding rogue doorstep traders and more.

Detective Superintendent Michael Barton is keen for the public to see the great work the team carries out, and urged people to ignore the sceptics.

He said: “I’m aware of some misconceptions about what these cameras are used for – and would like to assure our communities they are heavily regulated and only used in very specific policing circumstances.

“It’s a complete myth that ANPR cameras spy on people, watching them going about their daily business.

"ANPR is an incredibly effective investigative tool which can be used to help us find a high risk missing person, or help us find rogue traders and fraudsters who travel the country in the hope of ripping people off.”

Det Supt Barton added: “There are so many benefits to using ANPR and as a Force we couldn’t be more proud of the team’s recent achievements.

“I know the team will continue to provide exceptional assistance to many more ongoing investigations, and will continue to look out for some of our community’s most vulnerable.”