UK to integrate number plate recognition systems

The UK government has chosen Finmeccanica-Selex ES to create a nationwide number plate recognition system for police and law enforcement agencies.

The multi-million pound system ordered by the Home Office will make use of existing in-service cameras that can read number plates on fast-moving vehicles in all light and weather conditions, equipped with advanced optical character recognition algorithms. If a vehicle is logged as of interest, a centralised system can then alert law enforcement agencies in milliseconds.

Selex ES will develop, supply and support the system, which will provide a nationwide service that should make it easier to deter and disrupt criminal activity while at the same time reducing the costs of operations.

The system will be based on Selex ES's Enterprise Operating Centre (EOC) software and database solution, which is already in use across the US and in Italy. This will allow for the national collection of number plate data from local automatic number plate recognition systems and will eventually sustain in the region of 50 million inbound reads per day while providing an active query capability to thousands of law enforcement agents.

Together with partners, Selex ES will also provide a platform to collect and store the gathered data to allow further analysis.

A series of rolling contracts is expected to guarantee the service for the next six years.

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