FAQ :: How are surveillance (ANPR) cameras used on city streets?

Surveillance cameras in high-crime areas are used quite effectively. For example, Chicago street corners are equipped with new software that makes it easier to catch bad guys who drive or park nearby–by scanning the license plates of up to 3,600 parked or moving vehicles an hour.

The Chicago Police Department is exploring the idea of installing Big Brother software on 300 ‘blue light’ cameras–along with the possibility of adding the plate-reading function to video cameras now installed in 30 squad cars to record traffic stops. The plate readers have scanned 2.3 million license plates, resulting in 148 arrests, 15 narcotics seizures and the recovery of 310 vehicles. People were nailed for everything from criminal sexual assault, public indecency and domestic battery to auto theft and armed robbery. In several instances, narcotics and rifles were recovered.” [1]

In response to growing complaints from residents in areas drawing excessive visitors and parked cars, the city of Berkeley, California implemented a pilot Residential Parking program to increase the rate of turnover parking in the North Willard and Bateman neighborhoods in 2011.

The program will outfit parking enforcement vehicles with license plate recognition software in lieu of the current system of chalking cars to monitor parking in two-hour zones. The program targets the two neighborhoods as they house two of the city’s largest employers — UC Berkeley and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

Using chalk as the only two-hour parking enforcement has been ineffective, as some people tend to wipe it off or just move their cars forward a few feet instead of permanently leaving the area, according to Council member, Kriss Worthington. He added that the new program would prevent such action.

“Instead of the meter people having to chalk the tire, they would take a picture of the license plate,” he said. “When they come back around and scan it in again they can see you’re in the same place.” [2]

Bill Brother will have millions of ANPR cameras scattered all over the planet so he can locate the location of any vehicle in the world. Eventually he will mandate GPS transponders for all vehicles, motorcycles, boats, ships and planes so he can keep track of the movement of every motorized object.


[1]Spielman, Fran. “Chicago police cameras may scan plates for stolen cars, suspects.” Chicago Sun-Times, 11.14.2006. www.policeone.com/police-products/in vestigation/cameras/articles/1190979-Chicago-police-cameras-may-scan-plates-for-stolen-cars-suspects.

[2] Randle, Kate. “City to Use License Recognition Software to Increase Parking Turnover.” Daily Californian. 3.07.2011. www.dailycal.org/article/112235/ city_to_use_license_recognition_software_to_ increase-parking-turnover.