Home Office rolls on with £14m project to replace police number-plate database
New hub for ANPR data to be used by police forces across the country
Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/PA Images
The government is offering up to £14m for a supplier to implement a new national database of information gained from automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.
Although many police forces across the country use the technology, “existing ANPR systems are disparate and may offer limited capability”, the Home Office said. There are more than 40 different systems across the UK being used to run a nationwide estate of about 14,000 cameras.
To enable officers to search for information gathered by other agencies, data from all these systems is currently collated in a centralised hub called the National ANPR Data Centre (NADC).
But this platform “is reaching end of life”, and will be replaced by a new system – the National ANPR Service (NAS). This system will ultimately replace both the NADC and discrete systems being used locally.
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“NAS will replace NADC and local ANPR systems – ensuring continuity of vital services – standardise use of ANPR, and provide many police forces and law-enforcement agencies with tools to better exploit ANPR,” the Home Office said.
NAS will ultimately be used by all 43 local police forces in England and Wales, as well as 17 other law-enforcement agencies. About 50,000 individual users will access the system each year.
“This in-flight programme will replace the existing estate with a single system…and will require detailed technical design, robust testing and in-depth engagement bespoke to every one of these organisations as well as the NAS primary suppliers.”
The Home Office is seeking a supplier to provide “programme management and associated supporting technology-delivery functions”. Bids are open until 1 June, after which the department will assess up to four suppliers, before awarding a two-year contract that is currently scheduled to start on Monday 23 July.
The Home Office is budgeting between £5m and £14m for the work.
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