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CCTV Network Tracks Getaway Car

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the but-can-it-recognize-a-good-deal-on-car-insurance dept.

Privacy 434

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC is reporting that a 'pioneering number plate recognition system in Bradford played a vital role in the arrests of six suspects' after the murder of a Policewoman - within minutes of Friday's shootings, police were using the system to track the suspected getaway car." From the article: "When a car is entered on the system it will 'ping' whenever it passes one of our cameras, which makes it a lot easier to track than waiting for a patrol car to spot it."

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You live in a police state: Rejoice! (3, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085562)

Big Brother is watching you. Don't you feel double plus safe?

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (5, Funny)

kentrel (526003) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085583)

I know, its terrible. People can't commit murders now without being tracked by the police straight away. What has the world come to!

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085624)

the murder still happened. stop crime or criminals? there is a difference. if that policewoman had a gun there'd be two dead criminals.

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085662)

"If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about."

There. Glad to get that out of the way!

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085801)

KAR 120C [blogspot.com]

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (2, Insightful)

aslate (675607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085724)

Before all the US gun-loving "If the police had guns..." people have their way, have a look at the BBC "Have your say" page on the question "Should the police be armed? [bbc.co.uk] ".

A large number of both UK and US citizens have posted that they prefer a non-gun possessing police force, including a large number of police, some from Bradford where this happened.

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (2, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085631)

> I know, its terrible. People can't commit murders now without being tracked by the police straight away. What has the world come to!

Citizen kentrel anteposting approved fullwise suggestion contained thisposting doubleplus ridiculous verging crimethink

"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live--did live, from habit that became instinct--in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

- Functional Specification, Airstrip One

not familiar with the quote- but it must be old (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085869)

I mean, it pre-dates infrared video cameras....
darkness.. pfft.

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085702)

Just wait until someone commits a crime USING this system.

Its a lot easier to rob a bank and flee the country when the police all go after your "Getaway Car" in London while you take the train to Calais.

It's also a lot easier to find those pesky activists that don't like cameras everywhere.

Or round up undesirables for imprisonment.

Or single out your rival.

Or stalk your ex.

Or find a diplomat's motorcade.

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (4, Insightful)

Spectre (1685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085732)

Who watches the watchers?

I know of suspicious/vindictive/controlling/abusive people who if they had the power to see where their spouse/ex-spouse/SO would certainly abuse the priviledge by doing so.

I find it hard to believe that buddies of buddies wouldn't use something like this to say "hey, keep an eye on my SO, I've got to be on stake-out for the next few nights"

You live in an absentee citizen state: Rejoice! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085889)

"Who watches the watchers?"

Back in my day they used to be called citizens. What are you all using now?

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (4, Funny)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085596)

Next time I commit a crime and get my number plate followed using a system like this, I'll be horrified at the privacy invasion...

Perhaps if/when they extend it to track all vehicles as a matter of course, I'll be worried about some Orwellian nightmare the way you seem to imply I should be now. Maybe if I knew how to drive and owned a car it'd be more of a worry to me now, I can't really say.

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (3, Insightful)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085759)

"Perhaps if/when they extend it to track all vehicles as a matter of course, I'll be worried about some Orwellian nightmare"

1) What makes you think they aren't?
2) What makes you think you'll be able to stop them then?
3) Do you think its impossible that some 'security agent' monitoring these cameras, doesnt want you going out with his ex wife and abuses the system?

If they put cameras everywhere, everyone should have access to those cameras. Not a select few as it is currently. Anything else is 'us' against 'them' (police/state), and youd best be sure which side your on.

"What is now real was once only imagined..."
Guess that means you should care then

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085806)

"Perhaps if/when they extend it to track all vehicles as a matter of course, ..."

What makes you think it doesn't. With the police shooting people "just in case they're criminals", why wouldn't the police record every movement of every person all the time.

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (2, Informative)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085614)

Only if you choose to drive a car. The US isn't much different, searches don't require a warrant if you're in a vehicle.

Sigh why was he modded informative (4, Informative)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085697)

Only if you choose to drive a car. The US isn't much different, searches don't require a warrant if you're in a vehicle.
I know you were modded up informative but the law does not say police have carte blanch to search your car. They do have every right to use drug dogs if they pull your car over but they can't go further if dogs turn up nothing.

Re:Sigh why was he modded informative (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085725)

The same goes in Canada. If you are pulled over for speeding, the officer will find no further evidence of speeding in your trunk.

Re:Sigh why was he modded informative (1)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085755)

It's pretty easy to train a dog to bark on command, even if that command isn't noticeable by others.

Re:Sigh why was he modded informative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085877)

So what if he barks? That's not evidence of anything. It just means a dog barked.

The point of a drug dog is that he tells the police where to look for drugs. That's why it's called a drug dog. If the dog barks, and the police search in the area where the dog barked, but find nothing, then they still have no evidence of anything. They have to actually find the drugs in order to arrest.

"Hey judge, we didn't find any drugs on him, but our dog barked, so.... throw him in jail."

Um, no.

Re:Sigh why was he modded informative (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085784)

However, leaving your car unlocked essentially means you have consented to allow them to search your vehicle. Gotta love case law and precedent!

Re:Sigh why was he modded informative (2, Funny)

Johnboi Waltune (462501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085788)

They do have every right to use drug dogs if they pull your car over but they can't go further if dogs turn up nothing.

That was a major stumbling block for law enforcement, until they realized they could secretly train the new generation of drug dogs to detect gasoline. ;)

Re:Sigh why was he modded informative (2, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085893)

Just because the police don't have the right to, doesn't mean the police couldn't just as easily make up probable cause. Seriously, do you think that just because they're police officers, that they abide by the law?

Re:You live in a police state: Rejoice! (1)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085620)

Moderator, Please mod parent up. That is not a troll at all, but a fair summary of the implications of all cars being watched all the time. Of course the media uses this good example, but it is still Big Brother.

Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun control (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085568)

Oh ... the criminals still get firearms anyway while the law abiding citizens are victims of criminals and an oppressive government. No wonder the IRA fought for their freedom.

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085609)

Is there anything in this world that won't make you shove a gun up your ass while you masturbate, you filty gun-nut??

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (5, Insightful)

close_wait (697035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085637)

Probably explains why there are about 35 fatal shootings each year in the UK, and 11,000 in the US.

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085729)

There was already a huge differential before these systems were put in place. People shouldn't have to take into account that they are being watched continuously. This is just a milder form of outright drugging you into conformity. What does this do to the evolution of a culture?

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085751)

Is your basic argument that society shouldn't be safe, because it gets in the way of the "evolution" of a culture?

What do you mean by, "evolution of a culture?"

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085777)

Of course. You can have liberty or you can have safety, not both. Safety is stagnation.

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085747)

Does that include fatal shootings by the Police?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4713753.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (1)

cc-rider-Texas (877967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085756)

That is a meaningless statistic. You should actually compare the actual murder rate instead, because it doesn't matter what you murder somebody with, just the fact that you murdered them. Even then I don't think it will be all that easy to compare apples to apples because the cultures are different. I'm just glad I live in Texas where I can and do own guns so as to be able to protect myself and family, because criminals certainly don't give a damn about gun laws.

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (0, Troll)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085763)

about 35 fatal shootings each year in the UK

only if you exclude Glasgow.

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085817)

only if you exclude Glasgow.

Oi! We've only had about four or five shootings this year so far... It's all stabbings these days.

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (1, Interesting)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085783)

your statistics are even more informative when converted to per-capita rates (the uk rate is over 100 times smaller, per capita, than the us rate). that said, i'd be more curious to see how the statistics break down based on geographic and demographic criteria --- i suspect that there's a very small portion of the us population which accounts for an overwhelming majority of the gun related incidents. factoring that portion out, the us and uk end up being on much more even ground. of course, this is pure speculation since i haven't actually looked at the relevant data.

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (1)

Trespass (225077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085846)

Either that, or the english are terrible shots. ;)

Re:Shooting?? I thought the UK had strict gun cont (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085787)

Oh ... the criminals still get firearms anyway while the law abiding citizens are victims of criminals and an oppressive government. No wonder the IRA fought for their freedom.

Nearly everyone I know owns at least on gun, legally.

Plates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085570)

An even better reason to steal license plates than boredom!

Re:Plates (1)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085597)

And wasn't it that famous Brit, James Bond, who had the car with the flip-over license plates?

Re:Plates (2, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085772)

It sounds like the system was used to track exactly where the car was in order to send the police to the correct location in persuit, not to look up the registered owner and wait at their house, so fake plates wouldn't have changed anything.

Re:Plates (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085814)

stolen plates are no good, you have to swap them for a different set almost immediately or else dump the wheels quickly and make your getaway in a fresh set. It's time for those "James Bond" rotating numberplates... just push the button when you think you're not in view of a camera.

I for one (2, Funny)

carlcmc (322350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085573)

I for one welcome our no-murder enforcing CCTV-watching overlords.

Privacy? They killed a policewoman. let em hang. whoops... do they do that in Britain? :-)

Re:I for one (2, Interesting)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085677)

let em hang. whoops... do they do that in Britain

No ... because 12 out of the last 13 people hung later turned out to be innocent.

A good portion of the people murdered in Britian have been murdered by police: google "table leg" or "Menezes". I believe in the USA 75% of police shot are either shot with their own gun or by another policeman, so arming the police is not the answer either.

Re:I for one (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085839)

A good portion of the people murdered in Britian have been murdered by police: google "table leg" or "Menezes".

Bollocks. A "good portion of the people murdered in Britain"? And you cite two examples? Both examples caused absolute outcry here, although the first one polarised opinion as opposed to the universal condemnation and shock caused by the second.

I don't know the count of people murdered in this country last year, but sad to say it's likely to be an awful lot higher than two. The police have made some appalling mistakes recently, but my god - a "good portion of the people murdered"? Nope.

Cheers,
Ian

yeah well.... (5, Funny)

joemawlma (897746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085574)

"When a car is entered on the system it will 'ping' whenever it passes one of our cameras, which makes it a lot easier to track than waiting for a patrol car to spot it." If the "Ping" is above 100, I'm finding another server..

WOOT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085577)

FIRST!!!11!1!ONE!1!!!ELEVENTY

Ah... (0, Offtopic)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085579)

The ever-popular "forget the children, think of the police" justification.

Still don't like it.

Inefficient (1)

ajdowntown (91738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085582)

Man, does that seem inefficient to anyone else? Why not use a wonderful cell phone [slashdot.org] to track where people are. Much better...

Err, not...

So that's OK (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085586)

So because it has one good use does that mean we should ignore all the possible misuses?

Re:So that's OK (5, Insightful)

Stickerboy (61554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085684)

"So because it has one good use does that mean we should ignore all the possible misuses?"

I don't know. Have you deleted your Peer-to-Peer filesharing programs yet?

Re:So that's OK (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085738)

What exactly is the bad use of peer to peer?

Re:So that's OK (1)

sedyn (880034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085750)

shh, they could be reading this, and that is exactly the kind of sentiment that can get you 90 days in jail.

Re:So that's OK (1)

linuxbert (78156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085782)

Funny, thats that riaa/mpaa say about P2P

So sophisticated... (5, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085587)

This system is so sophisticated they tracked it for 211 miles across the country.

For a pioneering system, this sounds very well integrated or they are just using the bad news to give a reason for the cameras. It was only last week we heard about this for the first time.

I don't like living in the UK. Big brother really is watching us :(

(Though I am very pleased they caught these crooks in this instance, I still don't see why a criminal would go up north, rob a store then flee to the biggest city in the country. Don't these people think about lying low?)

Re:So sophisticated... (0)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085781)

I don't like living in the UK. Big brother really is watching us :(

FFS, have you ever read 1984? The big deal about "Big Brother is watching us" was that the CCTV cameras were everywhere, including peoples' homes, making it impossible to have a private conversation without the state listening in.

Does this traffic monitoring make it difficult to have subversive conversations? No? Then don't bother with the stupid 1984 references.

Re:So sophisticated... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085802)

The Police National Computer (PNC) maintains a list of all cars the police are currently interested in. All the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras in the country access that list. So as soon as the police worked out what the plate was on the car they wanted, they'll have entered it into the system, and all ANPR cameras in the country would pick it up when it passed by. Not that there are that many fixed ANPR systems. Basically Bradford and London from the sound of it (plus mobile ones). So the fact that they committed the crime in Bradford and then fled to London is a sign of the dumbest and unlucky crime gangs ever.

211 Miles??? (2, Interesting)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085858)

I can't resist. They really tracked these boneheads for 211 miles before stopping them? Who's to say that the people in the car when they finally stopped were the people who were in the car when the crime happened? How about this for a scenario?

1: Commit crime
2: Drive to least favorite relative's house
2: Loan car to (for me anyway) sister-in-law, who borrows everything & returns nothing, for vacation trip
3: Laugh for a very long time while she tries to prove she's innocent.

2 cents,

Queen B

Interesting, but too many unknowns (1, Redundant)

grimsweep (578372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085595)

How does this system handle brand new cars which don't have plates? What about a thief who swaps the plates in a back alley before moving on?

Re:Interesting, but too many unknowns (1)

Amadawn (43796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085639)

In the European Union all cars are required to have their plates before they can be driven. So this is not an issue there. When I came to the USA I was very surprised that you have so many cars without plates!

Re:Interesting, but too many unknowns (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085707)

It depends on the state actually. Massachusetts requires a plate on all cars, even new ones. New Hampshire, on the other hand, does not.

Re:Interesting, but too many unknowns (1)

Dr_LHA (30754) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085672)

All cars in the UK have plates, the dealer puts them on the car when you buy it (what an efficient system! Not like California where I had to wait 3 months for my plates to come in the mail!)

But yes, there's nothing to stop a crook putting false plates on a car involved in a crime, which I'm sure many will do. Perhaps the system will pick up the fact that the plates are not the right ones though?

Re:Interesting, but too many unknowns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085673)

Forget about swapping, what if they just take the plates off the car? They wouldn't have any idea where they are if they didnt' have a plate period. Swaping plates would take a little bit of time and would give the police time to start to come into the area where they were last noticed on the map and possibly time to find you. If you go into the sitituation with no plates to begin with they would have no way of tracking you from the get go.

Re:Interesting, but too many unknowns (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085855)

If you go into the sitituation with no plates to begin with they would have no way of tracking you from the get go.

Being the only car on the road with no plates is pretty conspicuous. The only real way of evading this system would be to change the plate every mile or so, maybe some kind of OLED plate that you can change automatically while moving.

Re:Interesting, but too many unknowns (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085713)

How does this system handle brand new cars which don't have plates

Are you kidding? you can't drive a car with no plates in the UK unless you are the Queen. You would be stopped within two blocks, and charged with zillions of offences. Cars are plated before they leave the dealers.

Car 54, Where Are you? (1)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085764)

Well, the natural step would be to mandate that you cannot drive with temporary plates, or mandate that temporary plates be issued in a form that can be placed where permanent plates go and are easily recognizable by the system.

You could certainly replace the plates, but if the system is tracking all plates in the region, a flag would probably be thrown when one number disappeared and a new number reappeared in the same vicinity. There are ways around any system, of course, but once they have plate recognition it can go pretty far. If they do simple color/model matches in combination with the plates it becomes significantly more difficult to dupe the system.

It seems to me though that what a system like this really does is crack down on the idiots or the unplanned acts of rage scenarios, of which there are no doubt quite a few. It's kind of amazing to see the idiotic things people do when they are caught breaking the law and they panic. I can just see right now all those incredibly dangerous to everybody chases that you see footage of in the news just disappearing. Let the person drive where they want to go and track them. Then when they get out of their vehicle, you have them. That sort of thing.

I'm not much for the whole big brother thing, but if there were an automated system in the US to track all cars on carefully designated roads (most public ones), and checks and balances in place to prevent abuse, I would not be averse to automatic ticket issuance for traffic violations and the use of a system like that to find criminals. I know a lot of people conceptualize dire Orwellian scenarios where big brother gets into everything, but that does not need to happen. Significant time and effort can be taken to ensure legislation that holds enforcement authorities accountable.

Anyone that thinks the government does not already have tremendous power to surveil the general public is smoking something anyway. What keeps us free is the checks and balances in place to curb abuse. Sometimes the checks fail, but mostly they seem to work. Why should this be any different? It can be a beneficial use of emerging technology.

I suppose it is up to our brothers and sisters in GB to tell us if they feel like they are living in 1984. GB seems to be an earlier adopter of these types of measures than we are. What say the British? :-)

Even worse (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085896)

How does it handle a thief that takes the plates and puts them on an entirely different car (of the same make if they are clever)?

This is dangerous and scary (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085600)

If this concept spreads, criminals will merely switch from making getaways in cars to making getaways in boats. The speeds may be reduced, but boats have much less maneuverability and longer stopping distances. Risks to neighboring automobiles from anchors and propellers also promises to raise the number of injuries to innocents in this misguided effort to fight crime.

Re:This is dangerous and scary (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085789)

If this concept spreads, criminals will merely switch from making getaways in cars to making getaways in boats. The speeds may be reduced, but boats have much less maneuverability and longer stopping distances. Risks to neighboring automobiles from anchors and propellers also promises to raise the number of injuries to innocents in this misguided effort to fight crime.

Scene: Downtown London.

Eggy: Come on Bert, 'urry up. The Bobby's are on their way!

Bert: I'm doing as best I can, mate!

Eggy: What the 'ell's holding you up then, eh?

Bert: Look, mate, if you can drive a speed boat down this bleadin' street any easier, you go right ahead and try!

PING? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085603)

I wish this article had more technical details, like...
When the cop pulls over the car, does he arrest the guy under a "ICMP Destination Unreachable" charge or "Source Quench"?

TDz.

So many ways to get around??? (0, Redundant)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085615)

That actually blot off the license plates to cameras watching them. Or how about repaint the plate so it says another number. How about steal another set of plates. Remove the licencse plates??? Place them in the windsheild of their car so the cameras don't see them. Any other ideas??

Re:So many ways to get around??? (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085680)

Having a plate that's hidden, out of place, or looks funny is primary cause for getting pulled over. Such schemes are likely to backfire by attracting police attention.

It pings every time the wife and I have a go (1)

victor7 (919931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085623)

I've been wondering why I've been hearing a pinging sound lately when my wife and I are having a go at it.

But, now I'm relieved to know that it's probably just the bobbies keeping a watchful eye on us via their CCTV security system.

Three cheers for those grand ol' chaps!

The machine.. (0, Offtopic)

Hamfist (311248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085626)


That goes 'ping'... That's the most expensive machine in the country

Re:The machine.. (1)

victor7 (919931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085699)

[ping]
Aah! I see you have the machine that goes 'ping'. This is my favourite. You see, we lease this back from the company we sold it to, and that way, it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account.

[applause]
Thank you. Thank you. We try to do our best. Well, do carry on.

Time get out my James Bondesque... (1)

EMIce (30092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085638)

...electronically flippable license plate. This cameras work off OCR and can probably be fooled that way. A similar network is being thought up for NYC, as part of a proposal to charge tolls for using the most crowded streets at certain times, specifically around mid-town. Apparently other cities have been pretty successful w/ such a system. The New York Times ran an article on this over the last month or so.

I wonder how long it will keep records? Or would such a system look for patterns of behavior, like circling in a neighborhood known for prostitution? Seems all fine and good to track a criminal on the run, but can guarantees be made against abuse?

Yes, a crisitunity (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085643)

How about installing license plates that can switch numbers on the go? I know, I would use them.

Re:Yes, a crisitunity (1)

mpathetiq (726625) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085821)

Like an RSA token?

Obligatory Monty Python Reference (2, Funny)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085650)

"When a car is entered on the system it will 'ping' whenever it passes one of our cameras [...]"

Ah yes. The machine that goes 'ping'!

Don't touch it!! (5, Funny)

bernywork (57298) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085653)

2) What is it?

1) It's the machine that goes Ping!

2) What?

1) We don't know what it does, it just goes "Ping" every now and again and we are scared to turn it off.

Re:Don't touch it!! (1)

durangotang (904483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085823)

What is this from?

The machine that goes beep (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085836)

Don't touch that, it's the web server [thedailywtf.com] ! (It was the first thing I thought of when I saw the post actually)

For a min I thought we were on China again (1)

manifoldronin (827401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085658)

In China, CCTV stands for China Central TeleVision.

Re:For a min I thought we were on China again (1)

quantum bit (225091) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085733)

LOL. When I was NZ they were picking that up on satellite and I nicknamed it the "Communist China TeleVision" network.

Violation of Civil Liberties! (1)

DrSbaitso (93553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085663)

I hope the ACLU's British equivalent has been notified of this gross encroachment onto our civil liberties. It's appalling! Next thing you know, they'll be allowed to take DNA samples from prisoners to attempt to "link" them to crime scenes.

The society we live in these days...

Re:Violation of Civil Liberties! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085775)

More like: Next thing you know, they'll be allowed to take a DNA sample from everyone in the city to attempt to link them to a crime scene.

This is why I use.... (3, Interesting)

wpiman (739077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085693)

Photoblocker. [photoblocker.com] It shines up your plate so much that it doesn't appear in pictures. It looks all washes out to cameras.

This is the same stuff... (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085799)

... I used to get in my Inbox all the time. These people use spam to market their product, don't go their way. How legal is this stuff anyways? What happens when a cop pulls you over, and notices the camera on his dash can't see your plate, he will know that you put that stuff on it. In America at least, it would probably be under defacing government property.

Re:This is why I use.... (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085832)

It shines up your plate so much that it doesn't appear in pictures. It looks all washes out to cameras.

It probably also makes the plate an even better target for LIDAR. Since both LIDAR and these traffic cameras use infra-red, I'd like to see a paint that was opaquely black (absorbant) to IR but clear in the visible spectrum.

Re:This is why I use.... (1)

DigitalWar (864198) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085867)

Illegible number plates carry 3 points and a £1000 fine. I know it'd be harder to find people using this stuff but if they do that's what they'll hit you with. They've mostly been going after motorcyclists with illegible plates as they use a diverse method of avoiding detection (smaller plates, different fonts etc).

Secure Beneath the Watchful Eyes (4, Interesting)

ToastyKen (10169) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085701)

These posters [subjunctive.net] were all over London when I was there a couple of years ago. No joke.

For the paranoid... (1)

pmike_bauer (763028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085728)

...there are always stuff like this. [phantomplate.com]
I am not affiliated with this company in any way.

In soviet russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085730)

uh never mind...this seems a lot like something soviet russia would do!

So (-1, Flamebait)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085735)

Big deal - the criminals will get a good lawyer, popular support and outcries of injustice and ethnic discrimination in the press, a slap on the wrist and will be out on the street again in a few years. 90% of the crime is committed by 10% of the criminals that the liberal system lets free over and over. If you want to stop crime, lock 'em up for good or bring back public executions.

Los Angeles use a similar system (5, Informative)

DieByWire (744043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085857)

I can't find it on google right now, but the first day that Los Angeles began using automatic plate recognition, they generated a new type of 'stupid criminal' story.

Some guy goes to a meeting with his probation officer, and parks in front of a squad car with the plate recognition equipment in it. The system pings his ride - which was stolen.

Pretty convenient for the cops.

it doesn't fully explain how the police use it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085860)

do they:
1) input a number plate that they want to track and it pings every time they pass a camera, discarding records of number plates which aren't the ones being tracked (i.e. recognise plate, check against list of plates being looked for, if it's not on the list, discard)
2) record every number plate and look through the logs to look when a particular one passed a particular camera, then keeping the logs until forever.
3) some sort of hybrid, like keeping the logs for 24 hours to see what happened earlier in the day, but killing them after that. (like some sort of caching system)

No1 I'd just about support (so long as there were adequate safeguards to make sure that it was only used to track suspects (not potential suspects) and I'd just about stretch to No3 so long as the logs really were being killed.
No2, however, is a BIG no-no. Automated camera systems to track the movements of every car in the country and then keep that on a permanent record are VERY bad (although I suspect that is what happens). When did spending a vast sum on public money on an automated system to track the car-using public go through parliament?

And another thing, where do the police get the idea that it's a given that they can 'deny the use of the roads to criminals'? take this very case, right now these people are SUSPECTS they haven't even been charged, as such they aren't 'criminals'. Someone explain why being a suspect means that you're no longer entitled to use the roads without being tracked? They'll be wanting tracking bugs in shoes next 'to deny criminals use of their feet'

Beware Cheatin' Spouses (0, Offtopic)

poind3xt3r (890661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085862)

Cheatin' spouses beware!

Now that takes all the fun out of..... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085863)

...... Gran Theft Auto murder sprees.

Every 400 yards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14085866)

Many cameras are already in place and are part of a system to monitor traffic flow at junctions and major routes to towns, ports, airports.
Looks like they will roll them out bigtime after this.

The Register has the backround as usual
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/15/vehicle_mo vement_database/ [theregister.co.uk]

Fake plates (4, Interesting)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14085871)

All this will do is create a big black market for fake plates.

If you are going to commit a crime, make sure you pick up a 10-pack of fake plates and switch them out randomly during your arrival and your getaway. Even better if the fakes use valid numbers off other vehicles in the same vicinity giving the coppers two nearby "pings" to choose from. They don't even have to be high-quality fakes, just enough to fool the cameras and anyone else looking at them from a distance.
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