Staffordshire is already one of the safest places in the UK but a potential gap is now being filled immediately…
A key priority for us is ensuring Staffordshire is as safe as possible. County already work closely with the Police Service and that has resulted in continuing reductions in overall crime despite reductions in police budgets.
But, whilst the picture is pretty good and amongst the best in the UK, there are still hotspot areas and also episodic crime in parts of rural Staffordshire. The latter are difficult to tackle because it’s targeted and the criminals can be in and out of an area before the police have time to respond. Farm machinery and caravans have been a problem.
And it’s this issue specifically which has identified a gap in Staffordshire’s crime fighting set up. That gap is surprising for two reasons. Firstly because all the surrounding areas to Staffordshire have ANPR (automated number plate recognition) and secondly, despite that being a considerable weakness, the crime rates are low and continue to fall here.
The police are keen to fill that ANPR gap and County Cabinet want to assist them financially to do that. So what will it mean? In short, the fixed ANPR cameras will be put up on key routes into and out of the county and other routes which are arterial.
There will be about 60 of those and in addition 8 mobile ANPRs. They literally do as they say which is to pick out and alert patrols to recognised number plates which can either be entered to in an urgent reactive way or are on a database of numbers, real or false, that are known for organised crime or other ongoing reasons.
They are also important for tackling the problems of uninsured drivers or vehicles without car tax and MOT, all of which cost law abiding drivers a fortune. So logically, if our crime stats are improving without this powerful weapon, the rollout of ANPR across Staffordshire should make an even bigger impact.
Now County Cabinet have agreed the funding, work will start immediately to get them up and working.
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