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Nottawasaga OPP will be demonstrating the Automated Licence Play Recognition unit at a public information session June 26 at 7 pm in Tottenham.

ALPR on loan to Nottawasaga, on public display next week in Tottenham

Posted June 19, 2013

Chances are, motorists driving the roadways of New Tecumseth, Adjala-Tosorontio and Essa Township have recently had their licence plates captured by the Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) camera mounted on the roof of a patrolling Nottawasaga OPP cruiser, then automatically queries them against a "hotlist...  of licence plates in poor standing" downloaded daily into the on-board computer.

The ALPR is currently on loan to Nottawasaga detachment from OPP headquarters in Orillia, and "being used by qualified officers in the Nottawasaga OPP area." It is a "wish-list" piece of equipment for the detachment traffic unit, and it will be on display for demonstration purposes next Wed., June 26 following the Police Service Board (PSB) Meeting being held at the Tottenham Community and Fitness Centre, starting at 5 pm.

Scheduled to start at 7:00 pm, the public information session will include a demonstration "as to how the on board camera can detect a licence plate, capture the image and interface with the MWS to help Nottawasaga OPP Officers with enforcement."

ALPR has been in limited use across the province because of the costs to purchase and implement the equipment, which has also raised privacy concerns of the random scans. But their use is expanding.

According to the OPP's backgrounder, "the hotlist" will include the plates associated with stolen vehicles, plates reported stolen or missing, plates with expired validation tags, plates that have been suspended, unissued plates reported stolen, and missing stock or spoiled plates never issued.

"The number of plates scanned by the ALPR equipped vehicles (province-wide) will depend on density and volume of traffic, however the OPP anticipates being able to scan anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 licence plates per hour, as defined by volumes," according to the backgrounder. "As of 1990, approximately 22 million licence plates are estimated to be in poor standing in Ontario."

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