Redbridge ANPR cameras reducing burglary rates, council says

Redbridge Council said its ANPR cameras have driven down burglary rates in the area. Picture:Clive G

Redbridge Council said its ANPR cameras have driven down burglary rates in the area. Picture:Clive Gee - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Automatic number plate recognition cameras are driving down burglary rates in Redbridge, the council has said.

Since Redbridge Council began installing its 41 cameras throughout the borough last year, burglary rates have gone down by 8.77 per cent in just the last month and by 2016 per cent in the last year.

The Automatic Number Plate Recognition software makes it easier for police to identify and catch known criminals as they drive through the area.

With 14 display boards set up next to the cameras which project the number plates to a wider audience, the cameras act as a deterrent for criminals.

A public consultation on the cameras resulted in 96pc of respondents showing support for the installation of the cameras and the council then began working with police to decide where the cameras should be placed.

Councillor Jas Athwal, council leader, explained the council arrived at the figure of 41 ANPR cameras after considering infrastructure constraints and police standards.

Cllr Athwal said: "The government's £1billion cuts to policing has hit Redbridge hard which is why we're finding innovative ways to fight crime and ensure we protect our residents.

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"We've invested £3.5m in state-of-the-art CCTV and ANPR cameras and working alongside the police - we've installed 41 ANPR cameras and 14 ANPR display boards across the borough to stamp out trouble hot spots.

"This innovative method of display boards is just another example of our commitment to find new and clever ways to drive criminals out of the borough."

Cllr Athwal explained that the purpose of the boards is to let people know they are being watched.

He said: "So, as an example, driving into Ilford Lane from Barking and Dagenham you should see a sign that says 'Welcome to Redbridge, drive safe' and number plate displayed."

The leader said that police reports have shown 676 vehicles were flagged by the cameras for gang and burglary related activities in the month following camera installation.

But during the consultation, the Conservative opposition criticised 41 ANPR cameras as too few and called for the public to have a say on where the cameras are located.