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Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) for Law Enforcement

from Mobile Technology (453 articles)

March 22, 2007 As new technologies become available to law enforcement agencies around the world, the climate for offenders look set to become particularly uncomfortable, and Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) will become one of the first technologies they are likely to encounter as it increases law enforcement efficiency manyfold. ................ has a new police-car-mounted camera that can automatically recognise over 3000 number plates an hour, while police simply cruise through the district. The plates are automatically compared to all wanted vehicle databases, sounding an alarm within a few seconds so police can apprehend the vehicle. At the same time, every plate recognition is logged in a central computer so that if a vehicle is involved in an offence, all prior sightings of the vehicle with time and GPS coordinates can be retrieved. The technology also recognises number plates in all weather and in complete darkness. See the video here and be frightened.

Special cameras mounted on patrol cars or in fixed locations “read” license plates of passing vehicles and compare the plates to various databases of interest including stolen vehicles, felony warrants, Amber Alerts, and more.

ALPR is an investment with a quick return. According to Kent Jorgensen, Director of the ........... Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division (UT-MVED), “It’s paid for itself already,” after just a few months of using the system. On the topic of efficiency, Sergeant Curtis Stoddard, also of UT-MVED, stated “As an officer it makes things a lot easier. I could only search a couple dozen plates an hour. With this system, I can search 3,000.”

The ................. Police Department (LBPD) read 1.4 million plates in its first six months of use, leading to 275 vehicle recoveries and 50 arrests. Benefits of the technology, however, go far beyond improving efficiency and increasing stolen vehicle recoveries. The LBPD credits the PIPS system with aiding in the surveillance and apprehension of suspects involved in drug trafficking, identity theft, and carjacking.

One of the “softer” benefits of ALPR is officer safety. If, prior to a routine traffic stop, an officer can be made aware that a vehicle is wanted in connection with a felony or has been reported stolen, it allows them to take a much more cautious approach and/or call for backup. Commenting on another benefit, Sergeant Chris Morgan of LBPD says, “The ALPR system does not discriminate. It eliminates any problems with profiling. The camera doesn’t distinguish the color of a driver’s skin or the condition of the car.”

Similarly, in recent press statements, the ............... Patrol (CHP) has also praised PIPS’ ALPR as a key component of their enforcement efforts. Through September 2006, PIPS Technology has enabled the CHP to seize or recover 868 wanted or stolen vehicles worth over US$7 million, and in the process, arrest 535 suspects. The CHP uses a combination of fixed cameras throughout the state and mobile patrol units, all feeding data to a common back office system for later querying and reporting.


License plate reader (LPR) technology. 

We are proud to support our law enforcement agency partners,  helping law enforcement across SA and abroad," I-Cube LPR systems can read plates from all provinces and most foreign countries. The system works in real time to identify vehicles of interest allowing officers to prepare for safe and immediate interdiction. Both LPR systems capture key vehicle-related data, which can be analyzed for criminal intelligence, providing for both a white list and a black list management.

The system consists of advanced cameras and proprietary software that captures photographic images of license plates, translates the visual characters into numbers and letters, and then compares each plate to pre-loaded Hot Lists in order to identify vehicles of interest right on the spot. The technology also captures date and time stamps, as well as GPS coordinates, which can aid criminal intelligence efforts by placing a suspect at a scene, identifying possible witnesses and more.

Already deployed in over 70 local and 1000 of international sites the I-Cube systems are quickly gaining attention with the law enforcement community as they are credited with assisting in the resolution of thousands of vehicle-related crimes over the past 25 years. With seventy percent of criminal activity tied to a vehicle, quickly capturing and interpreting license plate data is critical to the law enforcement mission,


I-Cube Solutions would like to propose the following advanced license plate recognition solution to maximize your ROAD BLOCK .

Key areas are the linkage between the vehicle license plate, car colour, shape, type and the LIVE database of known suspect cars.

I-Cube Solutions has a number of LPR sites around SA, any of which you can use for Road Safety Week. 23-29 April 2007. A number of MOBILE LPR solutions available, if you would like to use these? 

Possibly you would like to use any of these sites with a ROAD BLOCK just after the cameras, where all drivers are captured on camera, those not wearing seat belts are then identified and the license plate noted.

These specific license plates are then either specifically pulled over by SAPS / METRO or possibly you would like to SMS the drivers who pass any of the sites to wear their seatbelts?

 One could E-Mail the drivers if we had the e-mail address or even print an image for them, along with any message you might wish to put out?

 Below is a typical proposal, if you would like to send these to any metro or SAPS who you wish us to work with?  


Please review the Presentation (PPT) or (PDF) and I look forward to discussing a suitable way forward in order to begin the operation.

The system design, list of equipment and possible cost of a typical solution can be found HERE





Barry T. FryerDudley

(MBA {IT}; MSc {Image Analysis}; BSc {Brewing}; BSc Hons {Waste Technology})

I-CUBE (I3 - Integrated, Intelligent, Imaging)

LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION, FACIAL RECOGNITION and IMAGE ANALYSIS                                   Cell:  +27 (0) 82 562 8225

MADADENI                                                   PH +27 (0) 31 764-3077                                                                       

82 Kloof Falls Rd                                             Fax 0866539659        

Kloof,                                                              E-mail: info at I-Cube dot co dot za


Kwa-Zulu Natal,


South Africa    

 I-Cube.   All rights reserved.  Revised: January 03, 2008 .