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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 08:30 GMT 09:30 UK
Arrests after number plate scans
Police have arrested 75 people during a hi-tech car registration recognition operation.

On Wednesday forces said the initiative across the North West and Wales, using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), included 100,000 vehicle checks.

Five police forces - Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales - were involved in Operation Atlanta 2.

Vehicles were targeted using a network of "high-profile" checkpoints across the region, from 12-16 May.

People who do not break the law have nothing to fear from the system
Chief Inspector Val Prince
Those arrested were detained on a variety of offences including driving whilst disqualified, drink driving, drugs offences and robbery.

Chief Inspector Val Prince, Lancashire Constabulary, the co-ordinating force said the operation "builds on the firm foundations" of Operation Atlanta last December.

"What this shows is that the police in the North West will not tolerate criminals using our roads," she said.

"ANPR is a cost-efficient policing tool that improves our ability to enforce the law, prevent crime and detect offenders."

Locations of arrests
Lancashire - 27
Cheshire - 23
Merseyside - 11
Greater Manchester - 9
North Wales - 5.
She said although forces use ANPR individually, its use is much more effective with the co-ordinated approach.

"People who do not break the law have nothing to fear from the system.

"[But] criminals and terrorists are becoming increasingly more sophisticated in their activities.

"We hope this second operation reassures people in the North West that the police are serious about targeting [them]."

Rather than monitoring speed, ANPR scans number plates and automatically checks them against information stored on databases including the Police National Computer.

High-tech police arrest 106
19 Dec 02  |  England
New number plates launched
01 Sep 01  |  UK News

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