Burglaries plate sting sets off 25 car ‘alerts’By Hugh Fort
August 08, 2008
A hi-tech police operation aimed at netting vehicles used in burglaries failed to find any, but caught 25 drivers in three hours for offences including driving without insurance.
Police officers lined up along London Road last Wednesday for the operation, using an automatic number plate recognition camera mounted on top of a police van.
The camera reads the number plate of the vehicle as it drives past and sends the information to officers in the van.
If the vehicle has been involved in crime, or has no registered keeper, tax or insurance, an alarm sounds.
The officers radio colleagues further down the road, who pull over the drivers.
The main aim of the operation was to find vehicles that had been used in crimes.
However, the camera can also identify if vehicles are uninsured or registered to different owners.
Sgt Christina Berenger from Wokingham police was in charge of the operation. She said: “We did this operation after a slight increase in burglaries.
“The rise is in this area and we are looking to trace the vehicles used in those offences.
“The cameras are able to read all number plates, even foreign and square ones, like those on 4x4 vehicles.”
Sgt Berenger said she thought the operation was a great success.
She added: “This was a fantastic opportunity to catch criminals who are using stolen vehicles or vehicles known to have been used for criminal purposes.
“We were able to provide reassurance to the public through this highly visible policing method.
“Around 2,200 vehicles passed the camera in the time that we were present and we stopped 25 vehicles.
“Advice was offered to drivers and penalty fines were issued when appropriate.”