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Wellington OPP Using Automated Licence Plate Recognition On Patrols

Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) continues to use its own fully marked police cruiser equipped with an Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) system which was initially acquired by the detachment in the spring of 2014. ALPR is a sophisticated license plate scanning tool that uses Infra-Red illumination to capture a licence plate image of both the front and rear of a vehicle. The system is capable of scanning thousands of plates an hour, checking them in real time against a Ministry of Transportation (MTO) database. Officers are then alerted by the computer system to those plates in poor standing with the MTO.

Wellington County OPP Detachment has utilized this technology for two full years and has seen remarkable results. The specially trained officers have logged approximately 1420 hours in the vehicle during its second full year in use. This is almost double the hours of the previous year. (720 hours). “It is not only detecting licence plates in poor standing where Highway Traffic Act offences are likely, but where it really benefits pubic safety in our communities is when criminal violations are uncovered. We call it, looking beyond the plate”, says Wellington County Detachment Commander, Inspector Scott Lawson.

“While traffic Safety is one of the top priorities for the OPP in Wellington County the ALPR cruiser, with its advanced camera technology has been a great public safety tool for us. Vehicle stops with the ALPR car has led to a significant number of criminal charges including impaired and prohibited drivers, drug possession offences and another 32 criminal arrests” says Lawson. “Our officers even apprehended a wanted person”. He said. “This piece of equipment will continue patrolling every day. It is undoubtedly making our County safer.” said Lawson.

In the second full year of operation (April to April) the ALPR cruiser results in Wellington County were;

  • 1420 hours of patrol
  • 110 Suspended drivers
  • 32 Unlicensed drivers
  • 4 Prohibited drivers-Criminal Code
  • 15 Impaired/over 80 mgs drivers
  • 20 Drug charges
  • 32 Criminal code charges
  • 281 Highway Traffic Act offenses
  • 1 Warrants executed
  • 137 Roadside Screening Device tests
  • 20 Warn range suspensions
  • 70 Insurance charges

With thanks to the County of Wellington OPP

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