Your number's up – secret cameras will clock every illegal car or lorry
SECRET new traffic cameras which automatically read number plates are to be installed across the county to catch "travelling criminals", police have revealed.
Thirteen fixed cameras are set to be put up on main routes – which could include Tamworth – to catch motorists who a re driving without tax or insurance.
The county council has agreed to jointly fund the scheme to roll out the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) devices across the area.
But officials would not reveal to the Herald the exact locations of the cameras, stating that it would hinder the "prevention and detection of crime".
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"The high-tech cameras have proved successful in the UK and will now go up on routes across Staffordshire to combat travelling criminals as well as motorists who do not tax or insure their vehicles," a police spokesman said.
The cameras will be in place by September with the county council providing a one-off payment of £199,000 to fund half of the project.
But there will be no warning signs and the cameras will not be identified, unlike regular speed cameras.
Robbie Marshall, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Safety, said: "Our message to criminals is clear – we are on to you, whether they are trying to get away without a tax disc or are intent on coming to Staffordshire to cause trouble."
And Chief Superintendent Jon Drake, County Policing Commander, said: "This initiative will continue to push our message to criminals; they are not welcome in the county.
"This technology, combined with an intelligence-led approach, will help us stop many criminals from targeting the county and allow us to track and catch those who do."
The funding will also mean eight mobile ANPR units will be used.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras can identify vehicles linked to known offenders, and also spot people driving without tax or insurance.
The information is fed back to a central control room, recorded and can be relayed to officers out on duty.
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