The user may know that fixed license plate reader technology (LPR) is one of the most powerful security tools available for protecting buildings and perimeters of geographical areas. Best practices for ELSAG® Fixed Plate Hunter LPR systems include:

  • College, university, and school campuses
  • Airports
  • Casinos
  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Houses of worship
  • Transportation depots
  • Utility infrastructure
  • Municipal buildings
  • Military campuses
  • Ports and border stations

Fixed plate readers are also proving to be fundamental components of public safety missions designed to protect people in high-pedestrian areas, or those targeted by traffickers and predators. This case study offers three real-life instances of fixed or semi-fixed deployments that not only keep buildings and perimeters secure, but also people.

Identifying suspect vehicle

The ELSAG Fixed Plate Hunter ALPR in action fixed ELSAG ALPR cameras are attached to infrastructure like a utility pole or sign gantry.

  • Fixed cameras scan plates of passing vehicles, capturing license plate numbers, date/time stamps and GPS locations.
  • The infrared camera captures b/w images of each plate and a color camera captures overview images of each vehicle.
  • A computer reads the plate characters and compares them with a hot list.
  • Plates that match a white or hot list trigger instant alerts to security officials.

ELSAG Fixed Plate Hunter ALPR Performance:

  • Cameras read license plates, day or night, in any weather.
  • Plates are processed at up to 150 mph (241 kph) passing speeds, from over 100 feet away.
  • Plates are recognized using specially designed protocols for each jurisdiction in which the systems are deployed ELSAG Fixed Plate Hunter ALPR Performance.
  • Alerts are sent to officials, command centers and other patrol cars instantaneously, upon identifying a suspect vehicle.
  • Captured data includes date/time stamps, GPS coordinates and photo of the license plate.
  • Fixed systems can capture the speed of passing vehicles.
  • Hot list updates are wirelessly received and transmitted.

Keeping people safer

Duck, NC is a coastal community located in Dare County on the Outer Banks of North Carolina

There are flexible LPR technologies available that allows the user to address any law enforcement and security mission or challenge that involves vehicles with license plates. Here are three examples of LPR programs using Leonardo systems that were started for routine purposes, then expanded to help keep people safer and more secure.

Duck, NC is a coastal community located in Dare County on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It hosts about 20,000 people during the summer months. In 2015 The Chief of Police began an LPR program with two fixed cameras to help manage ‘burglary season’ on the island. Cameras read plates as vehicles enter and leave town. Almost immediately two arrests were made in separate cases of burglars who had been stealing from area homes for over a decade.

Identifying stolen vehicles

The Duck, NC program also identified stolen vehicles, located missing persons, and exposed narcotic activities, leading to the expansion of their LPR network. Additional fixed cameras protect the 30 miles from Manns Harbor to the Wright Memorial Bridge.

Additional fixed cameras protect the 30 miles from Manns Harbor to the Wright Memorial Bridge

The Dare County LPR program is now instrumental in keeping track of residents who adhere to hurricane evacuations and any who choose to stay on the island. LPR traffic tallies and license plate numbers give officials an estimate of people who may need help during the crisis, and an address. “Our LPR systems provided us a starting point to begin and end any type of situation or investigation.” John Cueto, Retired Chief of Police, Duck, NC.

Pedestrian-heavy area

In 2015, BA Tránsito, the road traffic authority in Buenos Aires, used a network of fixed LPR cameras to support an initiative designed to protect the pedestrian-heavy area of the oldest part of the capital city known as the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

Only taxi cabs, government officials and other select vehicles are allowed to use the streets there. If any LPR camera reads the license plate of a vehicle without a permit, they are mailed a ticket. The success of the original LPR program led to a 2017 expansion to relieve traffic congestion in the area immediately surrounding the Autonomous City. This busy metropolitan area, the ‘center city ring,’ has multi-lane roads in several directions, dangerously busy with vehicle activity.

Cutting down daily traffic

To encourage compliance, every license plate number read is prominently displayed on digital signs

BA Tránsito cut down daily traffic by half using fixed LPR systems. License plates ending with odd numbers can enter the centre city ring on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Plates ending with even numbers have access on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Police wait nearby to stop unauthorized vehicles. To encourage compliance, every license plate number read is prominently displayed on digital signs for all other drivers to see.

The NTSCIU covers eight counties, looking for criminals who use interstates and highways to smuggle illicit contraband. In 2017 they started an LPR program with two mobile LPR units to read plates as officers patrolled. They expanded their LPR network in 2018 with the addition of a LPR radar trailer housing two fixed cameras to serve as a semi-fixed system that could be easily moved to different places along highways, as needed.

LPR radar trailers

In 2018, they purchased an additional trailer to use along strategic routes and support requests from other agencies within the NTSCIU to help curtail crimes such as burglaries. While there are countless headlines about NTSCIU’s removal of illicit drugs from Texas highways and seizures of drug money and other contraband, aided by LPR technology, one of their most important cases was the recovery of a child abducted in California.

As described by an NTSCIU supervisor, that case alone paid for their entire investment in LPR technology

As described by an NTSCIU supervisor, that case alone paid for their entire investment in LPR technology. In 2018, the NTSCIU learned of an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang rally in their jurisdiction. They deployed LPR radar trailers around the event site to gather data (license plate number, photos of each plate on a bike or vehicle, date and time stamps, and trailer identifier).

Fixed LPR technology

Should events occur during the rally that would require investigating, law enforcement could analyze the data for information to help resolve the issue. Agencies of every size will benefit from deploying fixed LPR technology—to aid security of places and people.

There are lease options and grants available to help with funding, and Leonardo even has a lower-cost video camera LPR solution available now. So, get your agency outfitted with this 21st-century technology that is changing law enforcement best practices by increasing capacity, productivity and facilitating creative ways to address any issue that involves a license plate.

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