More like this please - Phil I
From todays Express & Star website.

Police descended on major Black Country roads to carry out a sting operation targeting scores of known offenders.

Officers on motorcycles swarmed the carriageways and pulled aside dozens of vehicles during the 'cherry picking' operation on Wolverhampton's Dudley Road and Stafford Road.

Six people were arrested including five for unrelated offences including two people thought to be responsible for thefts in the city.

In total 49 vehicles were stopped, 10 people were issued fixed penalty tickets for £200 for driving without insurance and 10 for other matters.

Around 30 officers were involved in the operation, which used automatic number plate recognition technology to match number plates to central police records in seconds, allowing officers to pull aside offenders.

Customs and Excise and Magistrates Court Service officers were also present and collected unpaid fines from offenders.

Among those caught during the regular operations are disqualified drivers, those driving cars involved in crimes, accidents or suspicious behaviour, without insurance, MOT or tax, and people using illegal red diesel.

Sergeant Pete Rawlins, of Park Lane traffic unit, said the ANPR system minimised disruption to members of the public and caught criminals, including some wanted for the most serious crimes.

"The emphasis is to focus on the vehicles that may have done something wrong so we don't disrupt ordinary law abiding motorists," he said.

"We are looking for crime and we have made quite important arrests. We are trying to fight crime, we are not trying to pick on the motorist."

Tim Stead of the Magistrates Court Service, said the operation enabled them to tie up a great number of outstanding fines.
More like this please - GrumpyOldGit
At last a police force is seeing sense! Let's hope the others catch on soon.
More like this please - Colin M
> insurance .. 10 people were issued fixed penalty tickets for £200

Which is cheaper than almost anyone's insurance policy these days. Surely the penalty must be higher to act as a deterrent?

More like this please - MichaelR
> insurance .. 10 people were issued fixed penalty tickets for
Which is cheaper than almost anyone's insurance policy these days. Surely
the penalty must be higher to act as a deterrent?

Exactly. I've just paid over £1,000 to insure my diesel powered Citroen for a year. It's easy to see how the less law abiding members of my age group (of which there are plenty) would decide that they'd rather risk it. Even if they are unlucky enough to get pulled twice a year, they'd still save money.

Driving with no insurance should carry a £5000 fine and a one year ban except for non straightforward cases (Someone I know once got stopped when he arrived back from holiday by taxi to find his girlfriend had been rushed to hospital very ill. He jumped straight in the car and drove to the Hospital. He forgot the insurane expired while he was away - people like this dont need £5000 fines and a 1 year ban, just the deliberate ones).
More like this please - cockle {P}
Notice that Essex Police have just started using the same technology, ANPR, with similar results.
They have a slightly different way of thinking though, they set up outside Lakeside Shopping Centre, I suppose working on the basis that 95% of the populations of Essex and East London must pass by at some point before Xmas.......

More like this please - Hugo {P}
I like it.

I hope that when other police forces use this technique, they keep in mind the real issues, ie no insurance, tax etc rather than a dodgy brake light etc.

I wouldn't mind being stopped for a dodgy light but if the car is obviously well maintained on the whole, a friendly word or even a producer would be more appropriate.

There is only one downside to this, in that it may create a motivation to use cloden number plates from law abiding citizens.


"Forever indebted to experience of others"
More like this please - zedzedeleven
An account of this activity in our local paper tonight as well. Can these devices check if cars are insured? I mean is there a central data base that can be accessed ? and are all insured vehicles on it ?
More like this please - Sooty Tailpipes
Yes, there is a central insurance database nowadays.

I think you're right about people who will now just don numberplates which match a decent person's car.

I guess there will be a few gypsies with thier tails between their legs in the black country?
More like this please - Wales Forester
North Wales have a lot of ANPR activity in my area, it's the only bit of Chief Constable Brunstrom's agenda that I agree with mind!

More like this please - pdc {P}
Don't get the local rag in manchester, so don't know if it's been reported, but for the past couple of months I have passed through the ANPR teams on an almost daily basis in and around manchester. Once police/motorist activity I don't mind.

I guess that my private reg has had the stolen tick taken away from it now, as I haven't had a pull since October last year.
More like this please - BB
Coventry has ANPR teams on the A444 approach to the M6. Good policing I believe. It doesn't affect the honest legal motorist and pull all the scum who dont pay insurance tax etc
More like this please - SjB {P}
>>> There is only one downside to this, in that it may create a motivation to use cloned number plates from law abiding citizens. <<<

Some years ago, several of my father's employer's mobile phones were cloned. The way that this was picked up by the network was that the 'same' handset made two calls from opposite ends of the country, within a few minutes of each!

I guess therefore that we now need ANPR version 2, where each detector is connected! Although there's a 50:50 chance that you would consequently stop the legal car, at least you would then know that you've been cloned, and the reg ID could then be added to the 'illegal' list.

Value my car