Tassie govt spends $575k to recognise traffic crooks

Five cameras and 50 mobile devices to roll out this year

The Tasmanian Government will spend $400,000 to purchase five Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras for the state's police.

The funding follows a successful trial of the technology which the government said helped police crackdown on traffic offenders.

Tasmania Premier, David Bartlett, said the technology will be rolled out this year and is essential to policing efforts.

“These cameras assist police in detecting and intercepting suspect vehicles," Bartlett said.

“Tasmania Police has recently trialled one of these cameras and it has already increased effectiveness and productivity in operations requiring vehicles to be intercepted.”

The cameras are capable of scanning number plates at more than one per second on vehicles travelling about 160 kilometres an hour.

The state will also spend $175,000 for 50 mobile data terminals that will provide radio dispatchers with information on the location and status of police in the field.

It follows the migration of the police radio network to digital annouced in 2008 in a $13 million deal with Ericsson. The rollout was plagued with problems that forced the digital network to fall back to analogue and allowed the network to be tapped.

The Victorian Sheriff’s Office spent $1.6 million on a radio platform to track and monitor its 167 vehicles. The Vehicle Access Network allows officers in distress to be located by Automatic Vehicle Location units through GPS.

New Zealand Police spent $5 million on a new fleet of speed cameras in 2008 that doubled as Automatic Number Plate Recognition devices.

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