Car surveillance

[They already track every car by number plate cameras (on every road into towns), but look to be making it public, along with new digital ones for speeding, plus their plans to track every car by satellite, which is 20-30 million cars, so you have to wonder what they are afraid of, plus wonder at the technology.]

Mobile X-ray scans

[2012 Sept] Your car, tracked: the rapid rise of license plate readers

[2012 Sept] Your car, tracked: the rapid rise of license plate readers

Britain will be first country to monitor every car journey

From 2006 Britain will be the first country where
every journey by every car will be monitored
By Steve Connor, Science Editor 22 December 2005
Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years.

Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years.

The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which are being converted to read number plates automatically night and day to provide 24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as towns, cities, ports and petrol-station forecourts.

By next March a central database installed alongside the Police National Computer in Hendon, north London, will store the details of 35 million number-plate "reads" per day. These will include time, date and precise location, with camera sites monitored by global positioning satellites.

Already there are plans to extend the database by increasing the storage period to five years and by linking thousands of additional cameras so that details of up to 100 million number plates can be fed each day into the central databank.

Senior police officers have described the surveillance network as possibly the biggest advance in the technology of crime detection and prevention since the introduction of DNA fingerprinting.

But others concerned about civil liberties will be worried that the movements of millions of law-abiding people will soon be routinely recorded and kept on a central computer database for years.

The new national data centre of vehicle movements will form the basis of a sophisticated surveillance tool that lies at the heart of an operation designed to drive criminals off the road.

In the process, the data centre will provide unrivalled opportunities to gather intelligence data on the movements and associations of organised gangs and terrorist suspects whenever they use cars, vans or motorcycles.

The scheme is being orchestrated by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and has the full backing of ministers who have sanctioned the spending of £24m this year on equipment.

More than 50 local authorities have signed agreements to allow the police to convert thousands of existing traffic cameras so they can read number plates automatically. The data will then be transmitted to Hendon via a secure police communications network.

Chief constables are also on the verge of brokering agreements with the Highways Agency, supermarkets and petrol station owners to incorporate their own CCTV cameras into the network. In addition to cross-checking each number plate against stolen and suspect vehicles held on the Police National Computer, the national data centre will also check whether each vehicle is lawfully licensed, insured and has a valid MoT test certificate.

"Every time you make a car journey already, you'll be on CCTV somewhere. The difference is that, in future, the car's index plates will be read as well," said Frank Whiteley, Chief Constable of Hertfordshire and chairman of the Acpo steering committee on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).

"What the data centre should be able to tell you is where a vehicle was in the past and where it is now, whether it was or wasn't at a particular location, and the routes taken to and from those crime scenes. Particularly important are associated vehicles," Mr Whiteley said.

The term "associated vehicles" means analysing convoys of cars, vans or trucks to see who is driving alongside a vehicle that is already known to be of interest to the police. Criminals, for instance, will drive somewhere in a lawful vehicle, steal a car and then drive back in convoy to commit further crimes "You're not necessarily interested in the stolen vehicle. You're interested in what's moving with the stolen vehicle," Mr Whiteley explained.

According to a strategy document drawn up by Acpo, the national data centre in Hendon will be at the heart of a surveillance operation that should deny criminals the use of the roads.

"The intention is to create a comprehensive ANPR camera and reader infrastructure across the country to stop displacement of crime from area to area and to allow a comprehensive picture of vehicle movements to be captured," the Acpo strategy says.

"This development forms the basis of a 24/7 vehicle movement database that will revolutionise arrest, intelligence and crime investigation opportunities on a national basis," it says.

Mr Whiteley said MI5 will also use the database. "Clearly there are values for this in counter-terrorism," he said.

"The security services will use it for purposes that I frankly don't have access to. It's part of public protection. If the security services did not have access to this, we'd be negligent."


Satellite tracking scheme to charge motorists £1.30 a mile,39024677,39122467,00.htm

Government's new congestion-busting scheme unveiled…

Published: Wednesday 21 July 2004

Motorists face charges of up to £1.30 a mile as part of the government's new congestion-busting plans to use satellite tracking technology to monitor vehicles. But the scheme would require £10bn to fit all cars with on-board tracking devices and government research conducted by a panel of independent experts warns the annual cost of running the system would be around £3bn.

Transport secretary Alistair Darling unveiled the car-tracking scheme in his Future of Transport white paper and said that simply trying to build our way out of congestion is no longer an option. The scheme would raise around £9bn a year in revenue and lead to £12bn in time savings for the UK economy through reduced time stuck in traffic jams, according to the government.

Deloitte Consulting provided the government a model of the system architecture required for a national and local interoperable road-charging scheme. Charges would range from 2p a mile to £1.30 a mile depending on the road and time of day.

It would involve all cars being fitted with an on-board unit (OBU) that can be tracked by satellite, or by microwave receptors or electronic beacons on the roadside. Drivers would set up a road-charging account with one of a selection of payment service providers such as utility companies, which would register the vehicle details and the OBU.

On the road, the OBU would automatically record which charge zones or charge roads the car used, the distance travelled and time of day. This would be transmitted to a central Communications Gateway, which would pass the details to the on-road service provider who would calculate how much it was owed. This would be forwarded to the data clearing operator. At this point all personal details would be removed with just the OBU number and charge forwarded to the payment services provider, who would then bill the driver.

Automatic number plate recognition technology would also be used for the enforcement of charges.

Darling said in a statement to the House of Commons: "The Road Pricing Feasibility Study concludes that a national scheme has the potential to cut congestion by about a half as well as providing environmental benefits. It says that road pricing is becoming technically feasible in the next 10 to 15 years. But for a scheme to work it would need general public acceptance and a great deal of preparation work over a number