back to article Devon force divulges ANPR towns online

Devon and Cornwall Police has published the location of some of its road surveillance cameras on its website, despite these normally being secret. The webpage, which publicised the force's appearance in Crimefighters, a fly on the wall ITV1 series, says the force has Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems running in …


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  1. lukewarmdog


    "If the locations of these cameras were published" <people> "would know where they are, and could bypass/avoid them"

    Potential criminals? What happened to being presumed innocent and all that legal malarkey?

    I'd like a camera on my street and a big sign pointing it out. Then I'd like everyone to bypass and avoid my street, turning it into the safest street in Manchester. That would put the house prices up and I'd be quids in.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    If the criminals want to aviod them, they look for the bloody great cameras hanging of bridges and stuck on poles.

    The most effective ones are car mounted.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fly on the wall documentaries

    What purpose does it serve to have the rozzers do entertainment shows? It gives a false exaggerated picture of crime that makes people overly fearful of crimes. It serves no enforcement purpose, it causes countless privacy problems as cameras barge into homes of *suspects*. It taints the case against suspects. It gives the rozzers a political attack platform, it creates a situation of grandstanding for the cameras, it creates a job where people's motive for joining the force is part 'want to be a star'.


    They have a job to do, and that job isn't performing for the cameras.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Title

    Shirley the point of a CCTV integrated ANPR setup is that ANPR can be enabled on any of the cameras on the CCTV system? Assuming that to be true surely they could have ANPR anywhere there is a camera. So presumably the reason they are so vague about locations is because it can be enabled on any of the cameras in those towns.

  5. sig
    Big Brother

    DIY Data Collection?

    How about a website where one can log the location of Big Brother's tentacles?

  6. Steve Swann
    Big Brother

    Prevention vs Detection

    ANPR & Speed cameras are about one thing only... profit.

    The revenue generated by fines levied on the 'evidence' of cameras constitutes a significant amount of police funding, alongside the ever-rising slice of your community charge that goes to our 'underfunded' police force (the same force that is so busy ignoring the law and your civil rights on a day to day basis).

    They say it themselves; If the cameras were obvious people would avoid them and we'd not be able to detect crime (never mind that video evidence is very rarely admissable in court!)

    Nonsense! You hide them to ensure you CATCH criminals whereas surely the function of law is to DETER criminality?

    Stop hiding the damned cameras!

  7. Joel

    No Map?

    Would have been good if you'd have posted a map so when I'm back down that way I can actively avoid them/destroy them.

  8. dunncha
    Big Brother

    No need to publish - Just be paranoid... very paranoid

    Camera's are everywhere and we are watching for Tax, MOT and Insurance. All the nice easy crimes to issue on-the-spot fines for.

    Everybody else we just track because we are interested in what everybody does. Nothing more than that.

    Could we use this system to track our local constabulary or find out when the they are running another trip to the sea side?

    I guess not. Who watches the watchers. Somebody else I'd assume.

    Nothing to hide/Nothing to fear.

  9. Martin 19

    *CAUTION! Confidential information in this comment*

    I happen to know that there are ANPR cameras in London and Birmingham as well...

    That's it, the police's cover is blown now!

    Hang on, someone's knocking on the door...

  10. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    The Mersey Tunnels have them

    Two visitors to our house got stopped by the Mersey Tunnels police, in both cases due to typo's on the insurance certificate. No harm done, just the inconvenience of having to produce at the local nick.

    By the way, will tell you whether your vehicle is on the UK insurance database. I'm not sure whether the ANPR cameras check whether your vehicle is taxed or not. When I bought a new car, and was waiting for the insurance certificate to come through the post so I could buy a tax disc, I went the long way around, just in case ;-)

  11. Anonymous Coward

    @ lukewarmdog

    I have x2 of these APNR on Tall green poles just down the road(if i look out the window i can see them).

    if i need to avoid them i take the back road in.

    but then again we have at least 5 sets of these camera's in Norwich on the main link/ring roads into the city.

    if you were to want to avoid them you would need to take quite a detour.


    no just means some rat running about the city.

    but then.. i dont drive either of my cars without full MOT or insurance, even though the costs are utterly crippling, even for east anglia rates.

    jacket... cos me car keys are in there somewhere.... i think?

  12. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: que?

    Ah! You're reading "potential criminal" as someone who may commit a crime. Try reading it as someone doing something that Sweaty Gordon and his mates haven't got around to criminalising yet. It makes more sense then.

  13. ElFatbob

    re:Fly on the wall documentaries

    It allows the state to sell the message that these invasive surveilling technologies are needed to combat crime.

    In reality, our government has no interest in resolving the social issues responsible for crime, as 'crises' of varying types provide the necessary excuses for bigger budgets and more control.

    Neither is it interested in providing justice. Criminals get light sentences and are effectively subsidised by the state.

  14. Gordon is not a Moron
    Black Helicopters



    you're just not thinking big enough, just take out every CCTV camera in Devon it's the only way to be sure.

    Oh hang on, lots of blue flashing lights and sirens have just appeared outside

  15. Neil Milner-Harris

    @Steve Swann

    Whilst I wouldn't disagree with you about speed cameras, ANPR cameras exist for the sole purpose of detecting registration plates and by association vehicles that are driving on the roads and shouldn't be by virtue of them not having current insurance/MOT/road tax.

    I'm not convinced about the speed = fatal RTAs argument however the an untaxed/untested/uninsured car is often an unlicenced driver so should be off the road.

  16. David Barrett
    Paris Hilton

    @ mr swann

    I'd imagine that any fears of beign caught by a camera could be solved by 2 things... Stop speeding, start taxing & insuring your car then it doesn't matter if the cameras are hidden or not. Personally I think they should all be hidden. Got an sp30 myself a few years ago, but it was my fault As it has been pointed out several times speed cameras are flouresent yellow 3' cubes if you can't see it you shouldn't be driving... Their locations are also posted online, they are about as hidden as Paris hiltons nipples (any excuse).

  17. ElNumbre


    Do the CCTV installers dress in Sheepskin jackets and when they've finished say

    "You Ain't Seen Me, Right?".

    I'll have one of those coats too.

  18. John Chadwick
    Thumb Up


    You can buy your own for £1000, buy a couple and add £500 for signage, you'll be quids in.

    BTW. The camera partnerships (Police & Local Authorities) no longer benefit from the fines levied, it all goes to the exchequer, and the partnerships get a fixed fee. This is why places like Swindon are dumping them as they are expensive to operate. Also they could only ever keep sufficient to operate or expand the networks, granted that both Police and local Authority accountants can be very creative, allegedly.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are there any convictions based on these things yet?

    I thought gathering evidence without suspicion of a crime being committed was illegal.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    does your laser still work

    On killing these cameras?

    No, I wouldn't be caught doing any of that, mate....wouldn't be caught being the operative part of that.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Ahh D&C Police, bunch of numpties if you ask me!

    I have a love hate relationship with Devon & Cornwall Police, they love to do nowt but catch people speeding and hate to do any real police work.

    For instance, a friend of mine was 'caught' without insurance according to the ANPR computers. He proved he was covered on his own motor trade policy, a fellow garage owners trade insurance policy AND his own car policy. They still took him to caught, dragged it through 5 court appearances where they 'didn't know' he was due at court and eventually after nearly a year threw the case out.

    However, when it comes to things like vandalism they couldn't give a monkeys. My car was vandalised nearly 3 years ago and after reporting it they made a bit of noise and forgot about it. They then made a bit more noise when I complained to the local news paper and then promptly forgot about it again. Suffice to say I still haven't had a word back from them, they just don't seem bothered. And they wonder why people have no respect for them.

    Anonymous and black helecopters.

  22. Andrew Taylor 1

    And they are really useful (sarcasm mode on)

    Humberside Police installed one on the Humber Bridge but it, and the doughnut eating wanna be film stars, failed to pick up a car stolen from a 70 year old man at a cemetary in Hull as it went over the Humber Bridge despite an immediate report by the Cemetary Keeper.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Law enforcement indeed!

    I've never understood how ANPR helps catch insurance dodgers. I'm insured to drive whatever car I happen to be driving, so how do the cameras know that?

  24. steogede


    >> "If the locations of these cameras were published, potential criminals would know where they are, and could bypass/avoid them or destroy them entirely. This would mean that the Force would be less able to detect and reduce crime on the roads."

    Indeed we don't want to give partially sighted crims the same advantage that crims with 20:20 have. ANPR cameras are hardly hidden (unless there are ones we don't know about?). When they stuck them up near me they were quite happy to tell everyone that they are on (almost) every route into and out of the nearby towns.

  25. Mike007 Bronze badge


    example "crime" 1: let's say hypothetically speaking you were to walk in to a police station with a few bruises and a couple of cuts and report you've just been mugged by a bunch of yobs, their reaction is to take your details and inform you there's not much point even as much as taking a statement let alone sending someone to the area to have a look for the quite distinctive looking group because "we'll never catch them, it's mostly just a paper exercise to record in our crime statistics" (exact words said to me!), solving this type of "paper exercise" crime would require getting off of their fat arses

    example "crime" 2: let's say you're driving along an empty dual carriageway and you go 5mph over the limit (which used to be 10mph higher until the same day the speed cameras appeared), in this case you can be damn sure that they will take the effort to post a fine to you!

    ...and then they wonder why people don't think they are doing a very good job!

  26. Ted Treen

    @AC Thurs 20 Aug @10:20

    Yes, Plod DOES have a job to do.

    But it's been one hell of a long time since they've done it.

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