It isn’t uncommon for people to be concerned about any new method used by law enforcement. With an increasing number of police forces making use of video cameras to track and record license plate information, privacy advocates have been up in arms. Vigilant, one of the leading companies in the field tackled some of the hard questions associated with license plate recognition and tracking recently.
Only Working with Law Enforcement
Brian Shockley, the company spokesman for Vigilant Solutions, explains that “Vigilant is a rapidly growing, innovative company that’s creating value for the law enforcement community.” Vigilant only sells their products to law enforcement organizations, many of which are located locally, we service almost 40,000 sworn throughout North America with many more around the world.
How Does LPR Data Help?
With Vigilant’s cameras it is possible to capture up to 60 plates per second, even when the cars are traveling at highway speeds. The data collected is time-stamped and then checked against law enforcement watch lists such as the FBI-managed National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to monitor for stolen vehicles, felony vehicles, missing persons, amber alerts, terrorist watch-lists and more. Reported sex offender’s vehicles may be monitored around schools and playgrounds and LPR data can be used to identify potential absconders. Literally thousands of cases have been resolved using LPR; in a recent survey of over 500 law enforcement professionals, 60% stated that their use of LPR had saved a life. 87% said that LPR had helped them in a major crime investigation.
It’s all about the Numbers
While privacy advocates complain that most of the information is irrelevant and infringes on the rights of private citizens, the simple truth is that there is no personal information in an LPR record and the process of a law enforcement officer, with a permissible purpose, connecting an individual to a vehicle is already regulated by the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA).
When one car is sighted repeatedly at the scene of several crimes, it is a good indication that there is a connection between the car and the events. Only by keeping data for a while can such ties be established.
To learn more about Vigilant Solutions and how they can help your law enforcement professionals’ work smarter, not harder, give us a call today.