DRAGNET POLICING – Everyone a suspect with ANPR

The number plates of 100,000 vehicles travelling into south Wales
across the Severn bridges have been scanned by police to
catch criminals. 

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) was used in
Operation Utah Wales and West on Thursday. BUT WAS IT LEGAL ?

More than 200 officers from four police forces were involved
as well as workers from immigration, customs and benefits. 

It allowed 3,000 number plates an hour to be checked against
databases for wanted people, 80,000 on M4 at the second Severn
crossing and 20,000 using the M48 across the old Severn
bridge.

Police were able to stop and search 150 vehicles identified
by the database as being suspicious.  

What does this kind of intrusive policing mean?

Police are also busily building a national 24×7 vehicle movement database intended to record all
passing number plates, everywhere, at the rate of 50 million a day, records to
be retained for two years. Or actually, six years, or forever – see Spy Blog for details. 

“24×7 vehicle movement database” is actually how
the police describe it.

The system doesn't just track named suspects, even hundreds
of thousands or a few millions of named suspects, it tracks all
vehicles, keeping the data so that it can be mined to discover the movements of
people who at some point in the future become suspects. So
effectively, everybody is a suspect.

Is this how we want to be policed? 

Following the revelations earlier this week of how the Met
Police is to use the TfL congestion charge ANPR cameras, Home Office minister Mr
McNulty said that the home secretary had exempted TfL and the Met terror-plods
from certain bits of the 1998 Data Protection Act, which would otherwise have
made the scheme illegal.

Today’s activities on the Severn Bridge were carried out by Officers
from Avon and Somerset Police, Gwent Police, South Wales Police and
Gloucestershire Police have been involved, with support from the DVLA,
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), VOSA, Border and Immigration Agency
(BIA), HM Revenue and Customs, and the Highways Agency.

So this was not even just a police sweep for stolen cars, IT WAS A GESTAPO STYLE DRAGNET.

The development of new and ever more intrusive uses for ANPR are being pushed all the time as can be seen here, here and here. The march of the Police State continues apace.

So for all the innocent travellers, who are ALL now suspects, how
long will your data be kept for? Will the data collected on innocents be
destroyed. Not a hope in hell.

According to the Chief Surveillance Commissioner, Sir Christopher Rose,
the system that is widely used by police forces around the country as a
tool to crack down on vehicles being used in illegal activities.
However this system could be breaching some privacy laws and even human
rights.

Yesterday, news sources reported that leaked Home Office documents
reveal plans to extend these powers “for all crime-fighting purposes”. According to this report from the Guardian,
the DTI had expressed reservations over such a move, since it is likely
that associated privacy concerns would slow down proposed road-pricing
schemes that have already attracted public pushback. Earlier this year,
a petition against road-pricing attracted 1.7 million signatures. In his response,
the then Prime Minister Tony Blair assured petitioners that “any
technology used would have to give definite guarantees about privacy
being protected – as it should be.”

The exemptions now mean that the Police can
operate the ANPR and the 24×7 vehicle movement database scheme outside of judicial oversight, which is exactly the
same methods used to make the Gestapo so powerful.

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About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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0 Responses to DRAGNET POLICING – Everyone a suspect with ANPR

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is this an import from the US? If I understand correctly what he has been saying, Alex Jones [of http://www.infowars.com] has been complaining for a while about the US Military and local police regularly running road blocks and demanding ID from everyone attempting to use the road.
    As has been said previously, we have moved silently into the realm of Napoleonic Law – everything is now forbidden unless the Government has specifically permitted it. That clearly includes travel, do we guess that life itself will follow soon?