Policy Details

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Strategy

Dated: 21 Jun 2011


POLICY TITLE: Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Policy and Strategy

OWNING DIRECTORATE: Local Policing & Operations

AUTHOR: ANPR Project Manager, Crime Department

CONTACT DETAILS: 03456 043 043 Ext. 49824

AIM OF POLICY: To outline the development, deployment and access to ANPR systems by Northumbria Police and associated matters.

BENEFIT OF POLICY: To provide clarity to area commands and departments regarding the development, deployment and access to ANPR systems, including access levels and the intended strategic benefits for the organisation.

REASON FOR POLICY: To prevent unstructured development of ANPR systems; to provide guidelines linked to the confidentiality issues associated with ANPR deployment and use; to provide an understanding of the tactics associated with ANPR use, its links to the Northumbria Police Roads Policing Strategy and its support of the national Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) ANPR strategy and the strategic aim of the police service to '‘target criminals through their use of the roads.’


Northumbria Police will support the national ACPO strategy to ''target criminals through their use of the roads.’

The structured development and deployment of ANPR is a powerful crime fighting tool which will support the ACPO strategy, and the Force's stated strategic aims of building trust and confidence in the community and reducing crime and disorder.

ANPR systems will include fixed and mobile systems operated directly by Northumbria Police and systems operated by other forces and organisations where Northumbria Police share access to data.

There are many uses for ANPR, and primacy in the order shown below, will be given to:

  • Passive and active intelligence gathering;

  • Post incident investigation;

  • Roads policing.

In line with the ACPO National Strategy, Northumbria Police will protect the location and functionality of its ANPR cameras. A Section 31 Law Enforcement exemption (Public Interest Immunity) within criminal courts must be applied for when fixed site ANPR locations are requested.

Northumbria Police will only share ANPR camera information with police forces that operate a similar policy on non-disclosure.

Access to Force ANPR systems will be restricted to staff with an operational need and will be subject to regular review.

Access will only be for a legitimate policing purpose.

Hot-lists contain the Vehicle Registration Marks (VRMs) of vehicles which are of relevance to individuals, officers or others. Hot-lists will be weeded regularly to ensure relevance and to comply with Management of Police Information (MoPI) and Data Protection issues.

ANPR data will be retained in line with the ACPO recommendations, and the Force will ensure that the requirements of Data Protection, MoPI and the European Convention on Human Rights are met.


Northumbria Police has five strategic objectives to support the ANPR policy:

Objective One

Continue to develop and exploit ANPR technology to support force activity.

Objective Two

Work with partner agencies at regional and local levels to share assets and data, avoid duplication and enhance operational effectiveness.

Objective Three

Identify opportunities for funding ANPR activity as well as its incorporation into mainstream police service budgets.

Objective Four

Integrate ANPR into mainstream police business processes.

Objective Five

Develop and promote good practice in regard to ANPR activities.

Strategic Outcome

By implementing the ANPR strategy, Northumbria Police will have ANPR camera technology deployed at key locations on the strategic roads network within the Force area, to provide evidence of vehicles travelling into and out of the area, for the purpose of:

  • Intelligence gathering;

  • Post incident investigations;

  • Intelligence-led deployment of police resources to intercept target criminals.

SOURCE DOCUMENT: ACPO ANPR Strategy for the Police Service 2007-2010, National ACPO ANPR Standards (NAAS) version 4.11 July 2008

GROUPS AFFECTED: All officers and staff


This instruction is designed to avoid discrimination and in accordance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and its underlying principles.