March 1, 2024

ANPR cameras are now a common sight both on UK roads and in car parks, but how many people are aware of what ANPR is and how it operates? Automatic number plate recognition, also known as ANPR, is a system that allows users to locate specific vehicles by reading their license plates. Scanners or cameras capture the necessary data, which can be utilized as a reference point for business users such as car parks, as well as law enforcement and traffic police. So, we decided to dig a bit deeper and look at how ANPR functions and what types of organizations are already benefiting from it on a day-to-day basis.

Who Uses an ANPR System

Law enforcement organizations and commercial enterprises both employ ANPR systems for a variety of uses. The police primarily use it to help solve crimes, find wanted criminals and monitor traffic offenses.

Private businesses use it for things like keeping tabs on employee arrivals and departures, restricting entry to gated communities, and managing car parks. It is used by local administrations to enforce parking laws and collect tolls.

ANPR Systems are frequently used by the Department of Transport to assist with infrastructure planning and traffic flow monitoring. Hotels and large supermarkets also utilize ANPR systems these days to help monitor parking and make sure they can record persons arriving and going from their parking space in order to prevent unauthorized visits. Another location where ANPR cameras may be used to monitor parking restrictions and waiting times is airports.

How Do Law Enforcement Agencies Use ANPR Cameras

ANPR cameras are used by the police to lessen, identify, and suppress criminal behavior. This can involve recovering stolen automobiles, locating uninsured and untaxed vehicles, and even aiding in the investigation of more serious crimes like drug trafficking and murder.

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Over recent times ANPR cameras have become an integral part of law enforcement. These cutting-edge tools can swiftly scan license plate images in a database to check on the status of any vehicle. This aids police officers in catching offenders and preserving community safety. The UK is reported to have 11,000 or more ANPR cameras, which daily generate more than 50 million records.

So, what is an ANPR System, and How Does it Work?

ANPR uses optical character recognition to transform a number plate image into a machine-encoded text. Infrared lighting is frequently employed to make sure that the cameras capture a crisper and more recognizable image. ANPR can be utilized in conjunction with traffic enforcement cameras and existing closed-circuit television cameras.

What is the Role of ANPR in Traffic Management

About 1,100 cameras are used by Highways England at 500 different places to measure travel times and help with traffic management. The new smart motorways use ANPR cameras that regulate traffic flow by enforcing various speed limits. The camera reads the license plates of the vehicles moving along that section of the motorway and converts them into non-unique identification numbers or tags. The same tag will be produced each time that number plate passes via an ANPR camera run by Highways England. Highways England may then determine travel times and constantly notify drivers of any delays by cross-referencing the tags.

How is ANPR Used in Car Park Management

An increasing number of public and private car parks now employ ANPR systems. As a result, customers have more convenient access to payments, see available spaces, and generally enjoy an improved parking experience. All these things allow the car park to operate more smoothly and profitably for the owners.

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To accurately track how long drivers have been in the car park, number plates are read upon entry and exit. Also, it gives drivers the option of leaving the car park and returning during the payment period without having to pay again.

Aside from lowering on-site staffing needs, ANPR cameras do away with the necessity for mobile parking patrols.

Although there are more uses for ANPR cameras, the ones we’ve covered above are the most important ones, and we hope they’ve helped you understand why and how they’re deployed.