Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Not seeing the police for the acronyms?

The Register reports that the police now have more than 10,000 ANPR cameras and and are passing up to 14m reads per day from automatic numberplate recognition cameras to a national database which is run by the National Policing Improvement Agency quango (NPIA) on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO Ltd).

Confused? Not to worry, the NPIA organises lots of training schemes at a competitive rate. It's even helped train hundreds of police across the world including Saudi Arabia!! The mind boggles. However, policing is a commercial enterprise and wages, at present running at over £100 million annually for the NPIA alone, must be paid.

The NPIA costs (you) £566 million a year and, of this, IT and consultants cost over £300 million. The NPIA charges police forces for its services eg £33 million for access to INDENT1 - the fingerprint database, in order to pay its way.

The Police National Computer now holds over 9 million people records, 52 million driver records and 55 million vehicle records.

Yet, despite the high tech, many people are becoming victims of car cloning, where stolen vehicles are given false number plates and identity papers before being sold. Up to 130,000 blank logbooks, stolen in 2006, are still missing. Not to worry because, if you fail to display your car tax the ANPR is sure to spot this and send you a fine in the post, this will help fund the NPIA. Additionally if your number plates are cloned you may well get the fraudster's speeding tickets.

PS Quangos tend to grow like Topsy, for example -Secured By Design is managed by ACPO Crime Prevention Initiatives Limited (ACPO CPI) a "not for profit" company wholly owned by ACPO.

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