License Plate Readers
License plate readers are becoming ever-more-popular for use by police and other law-enforcement personnel for safety and investigative purposes. They’ve already been used to aid in the discovery of key criminal suspects and kidnap victims. The potential for beneficial use is boundless.
What are the Benefits of the Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) cameras?
License plate cameras are more than just high-tech toys or gadgets. With so many crimes in the US involving vehicles, the license plate camera scans 900 license plates per minute. It’s a level of analytics and investigative potential that’s unrivaled, and all that power is being brought to bear in the service of making the community safe and secure. Here are a few key benefits.
Do More With Less
The realities of dealing with limited resources means that every resource takes on extra importance. With the functionality of license plate readers, law enforcement is able to make use of the many eyes and complex analytics capabilities. It allows them to be better at fighting crime.
License plate readers also offer data insights, which allows law enforcement personnel to determine the threat level of a situation before entering into a building or making a traffic stop. That level of knowledge and warning not only saves lives, but it also makes sure that quick and concise action is taken to address the situation. Analytics can help investigators solve drug and homicide cases.
There is a constant stream of data from many different sources that law enforcement can draw from, but license plate readers are the source that helps to put all the data into context.
Recently license plate reader technology has helped track down and arrest suspects in a convenience-store robbery, and it also helped in a kidnap case. Those are just two recent examples that were high-profile enough that we heard about them. There are countless other cases that we don’t hear about, but we know that law enforcement is using the technology. We know it works.
Municipalities, universities, and other organizations are using license plate readers and ALPR technology to generate revenue from parking offenders.
How Do License Plate Readers Work?
The technology is fairly straightforward, and not unlike the type of functionality we see in other devices. While models vary, the typical scenario involves a combination of cameras, a processing unit (computer) and software that’s designed to instantly capture, review and then funnel the data into the appropriate channels. This technology is not yet approved for use in every state, but concerned citizens are putting pressure on lawmakers to set aside any concerns in the interest of safety and crime-busting investigative drivers.
The license plate reader is really just a spin-off from a standard computer, that’s been programmed to read license plates in a narrowly defined way. They can be used from a law enforcement personnel’s car, or they can be mounted on poles, on overpasses, or in other prominent fixtures to get the best possible range for the scanning. Flexibility is key, and that’s why there are so many options from which to select.
There are also a lot of options in how the software, camera, and processing unit interacts to support your custom requirements. Some of the most immediate use-cases scenarios include the immediate notification of stolen cars, expired registrations, and other critical factors. The goal is to find the stolen property as quickly as possible, but also to remind the public that it is important to maintain proper, updated registration on your vehicle.
Case Uses for License Plate Readers
HOA Security and Crime Prevention
License plate recognition fills a gap in community awareness and protection. When community leaders and HomeOwners Associations (HOAs) have tried everything (security guards, fences, closed-circuit cameras), license plate readers offer the level of security and crime prevention functionality that they need. It’s not always enough to have a vigilant and aware community, law enforcement needs actionable data.
The license plate reader not only gathers the data and syncs up with law enforcement, but it’s also a visible deterrent. Since license plate readers have already been a fixture in many communities for years, it feels safer and more natural. It’s not scary, and residents know what to expect. Since HOAs and residents collaborate to determine the best practices, rules, and policies, LPR programs often include community participation and overview. Those residents who don’t feel comfortable with their data being recorded can typically request that it be removed.
Casino Cheating Prevention
The Casino has always used cameras to prevent cheaters, but license plate recognition make that prevention methodology faster, easier, and more accurate. While the interior security can recognize and track specific activities and individuals in the casino, the LPR takes a preemptive approach to address not only those individuals who have been temporarily or permanently banned, but also makes the possibility of entry more difficult for those who have voluntarily banned themselves due to a gambling addiction.
Beyond standard facility and patron management, LPR is an effective deterrent and tracking device. The implementation of these readers in casino parking lots is quickly linked with fewer vehicle thefts, with an immediate concurrent result of fewer stolen cars being parked in the parking lot.
Parking Lot Compliance Tracking and Enforcement
Parking lot attendees use ALPR cameras to easily track compliance while increasing the efficiency of enforcement. Instead of manually entering the data in a database, the license plate reader quickly and accurately determines the status of all vehicles in just one parking lot, across multiple parking lots, or along streetside parking in the city. It’s faster with less headache and hassle, but it’s also more accurate than a manual method. In fact, the level of real-time tracking and analysis would be difficult (if not impossible) to replicate if you tried to do it without the database. Beyond the compliance tracking and analytics, license plate recognition allows you to quickly make decisions based on the real and actionable data that’s being gathered.
The overarching goal and outcome of ALPR implementation is to create a better parking experience, particularly from a customer service point of view. With clear and reliable data, it’s more difficult to dispute the validity of a ticket. It also means that that the offender who receives a ticket will hopefully think twice the next time they park in a pay-to-park lot without paying. There’s really no point in creating or facilitating a confrontation. The data speaks for itself, and a parking lot attendant can also check to see if there’s a clear history of similar behavior. All the data is readily available.
Why is the Latest Technology Important?
License plate recognition is just starting to prove itself, but it’s making important inroads with the public and the law enforcement community. We want to feel safe. We want to know that law enforcement is doing everything they can to protect us and serve, and this technology allows them to do just that. It’s an intelligent and smart device solution that shows ever-more-promise in evolving areas of criminal investigations, terrorist interdiction, and public safety. The outdated tools of by-gone ages will no longer work. Law enforcement needs flexibility and greater sophistication, but they also need the ability to act in ways that are in the best interest of the community. It’s the perfect solution for any public space or security-aware community.
LaTech has helped over 50 agencies install and implement this technology. We’ve installed over 400 cameras throughout the state of Louisiana. Call 866-779-4897 to learn more about how LATECH can help you implement the latest in license plate reader technology today!