The policy advice on the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), is mostly common sense, especially regarding actual roadside ANPR with at least two other mobile patrol vehicles to actually stop and search vehicles which have been flagged up by the ANPR / Police National Computer / Local Intelligence database system.
This document does not say much about the National ANPR Data Centre (NADC), but there are some clues about the ANPR data stored on the Police National Computer, with some potentially abusable or easily misinterpreted Warning Markers and the PNC ID categories, which could easily lead to false positives, where innocent people being threatened with firearms or tasers. Similarly, known really violent and dangerous people could just as easily be stopped by the Police, who are unprepared for them, thereby potentially putting themselves and the passing public at risk, because of false negative matches, again involving just a single digit error.
DO NOT STOP
Silent sightings only. Do not stop for routine checks
If additional grounds exist vehicle may be stopped
For reasons of officer safety or investigation requirements
Nothing Known (NK)
Fails to Stop (FT)
Enter maximum of 3 relevant markers
For silent checks enter NO STOP
Enter grading without X or spaces
Prefix free text with date
and time in format
Brief free text to include and additional information and force reference number if applicable
FORCE AND AREA
Include force name/area (BCU/division letter) and 24hr contact tel no
3 Fails to stop for Police
13 Offends against
14 Sex Offender
15 Female Impersonator
16 Male Impersonator
NAAS = National ACPO ANPR Standards (a meta acronym !)
VRM = Vehicle Registration Mark i.e. the number on the licence plate
WEED DATE is probably an indicator of the when the data record is due to be retained until.
7 REASON - Protest could easily be abused for political purpose, or could be seen as such.
8 INTEL5X5X5 - is an indication of the supposed reliability and sensitivity of the intelligence source
12 PNC ID could be very controversial, especially if relayed to Police Officers under stress without any other explanation.
This is literally a stereotype category "black mark" against you on the system, where a single digit error (like "Tuttle" or "Buttle" in the Terry Gilliam film Brazil) could make the difference between you having a firearm or taser pointed at you, or not.
PNC ID 11 Alleges - seems to be code for "is known to make false allegation" - against other members of the public or against the Police ?
PNC ID 15 and 16 Male / Female Impersonator should be limited to people who disguise themselves as such for criminal purposes only, but that is not always clear.
13 GPMS = Government Protected Marking Scheme
Judge for yourselves if the "Proposed Media Lines To take" i.e. media spin is credible or not:
Proposed Media Lines to take:
Issued by National ANPR Coordinator July 2007
Q. Isn't this the beginnings of a 'Big Brother' state?
A. Criminals and terrorists are becoming increasingly more sophisticated in their activities; therefore, the police need to update their crime-fighting capability. The technology used will alert the police if there are legitimate concerns that the law has been broken; it will do little more than that. ANPR allows the police to focus on those who engage in unlawful activity. This means that people lawfully using our roads will do so unhindered by the police. There are very strict management processes in place to ensure that ANPR capture data is only used for legitimate policing purposes.
Q. Doesn't this just give police the ability to spy on innocent members of the public?
A. No. ANPR will only be used to target vehicles where records indicate that a motoring offence has been committed or where there is evidence of other criminal activity. The technology does no more than check the numberplate against records and alert the police where there is cause for concern. There are strict ACPO guidelines on the use of ANPR which have been published and are available to everyone, and provide the necessary safeguards to prevent abuse of this technology.
Q. This is just government spying on the people, isn't it?
A. No. This is simply a tool for identifying vehicles where a road traffic offence has been committed or where criminal activity is suspected. It does not have any other purpose.
Q. How can we be sure that innocent motorists will not have their details recorded or will not be stopped?
A. ANPR acts as a search tool of the numberplates it has scanned. It is only where a vehicle is of interest to the police because a motoring offence is noted, or there is other known criminal activity associated with it, that a vehicle would be stopped.
DATA PROTECTION / FREEDOM OF INFORMATION / HUMAN RIGHTS
Q. Will motorists be able to see the information held on them by the police?
A. Data protection law will apply to any records associated with ANPR, the same as any other policing activity.
Q. How will the police know who to stop?
A. ANPR will assist the police in identifying road traffic offences and other offences through a search of database records. It will only be those cases where the database indicates that an offence has been committed, or is suspected, that the police would stop a vehicle.
Q. Will a permanent record be kept when someone is stopped? If so, for how long and where?
A. There are strict ACPO guidelines on the police use of ANPR; and these provide the necessary safeguards to prevent abuse of this technology. In certain high-profile investigations the police will value the ability to prove that a vehicle was in a specific area at a given time. There is provision within the technology to record this. Such records would only be kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the ACPO ANPR Guidelines which have been published in full.
Q. Does ANPR infringe my human rights?
A. No. ANPR, in fact, enhances the human rights of law-abiding citizens by providing additional security through assisting the police to target criminals and terrorists. It also enhances the freedom of movement of law-abiding citizens by only targeting the criminal, thereby leaving other people who use the roads lawfully, to travel unhindered by the police.
These Media Lines To Take about ANPR are being "economical with the truth".