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The role of automatic number plate recognition surveillance within policing and public reassurance

By Alina Haines


This Thesis examines the role that Automatic Number Plate Recognition surveillance plays within policing and public reassurance. The thesis is improvement orientated, exploring how\ud ANPR could become a more effective policing tool and highlights implications for future policies and practice.\ud \ud \ud The first two chapters set the context for the research, explaining what ANPR is, its place\ud within criminology and gaps in research addressed in the Thesis. The literature review calls for a better understanding of ANPR’s potential and role as an investigative tool and an examination of the public’s views about ANPR surveillance. In the third chapter, reference is made to available methods used to address such objectives.\ud \ud \ud Chapters Four, Five and Six present the results emerging from the empirical work in this Thesis. Chapter Four is concerned with police perceptions regarding current ANPR practice.\ud The thesis highlights the complexity of translating policy into practice in the current political and economic climate, where objectives and priorities dictated by the government are\ud constantly shifting. Continuing its improvement orientation, Chapter Five covers public perceptions about ANPR and outlines ways to address the balance between privacy and security without endangering both. The potential impact of ANPR on crime and ways to measure it is the topic of Chapter Six, which argues that establishing a causal link between ANPR and crime is not a straightforward process. The concluding chapter talks about the implications of the study and any interesting future avenues for research.\ud \ud \ud The emerging findings from this research sit uncomfortably with the opinions and predictions\ud of both supporters and opponents of ANPR alike and shed light not only on the management and use of ANPR by the police in Britain, but also on many of the ethical issues raised by the emergence of new surveillance technologies

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