Police in Lewisville are using new technology to help them with their cases. It’s called license plate recognition technology (LPR), and it helps police by detecting the plates of cars in public places. It may not sound like much, but when it comes to tracking down a suspect, LPR has proven to be invaluable.
How Does LPR Work?
LPR uses cameras mounted on police vehicles and sometimes in public places. These cameras read and capture license plates of cars as they pass and store the date and time when they were spotted. In some cases, the system will also alert police if there are any outstanding warrants associated with specific plate numbers (just the cars, not the people driving them!), which allows police to pull that car over and possibly make an arrest.
LPR does not give police access to any information about the driver, which has been a big concern as LPR technology has become more common. The system doesn’t even tell police who the plate is registered to when it is captured. All it does is record geographical locations where each license plate was seen. It is no more threatening to personal security than if the police were writing down plate numbers by hand, including the date, time and location, and then filing that information away.
This data helps the police track the whereabouts of vehicles. If, for example, your car is stolen, police can check the LPR records from locations around the area where it was taken. If the plate number was recorded by any of the cameras, the authorities would then know in which direction your car was taken, and possibly where it actually is in real time. If an alert is put on the plate number, any officer driving a car that captures the plate will be notified, and your car can be recovered. This same procedure can be applied to many kinds of cases, from kidnapping to drunk driving accidents to hit-and-runs.
LPR Can Help Find Hit-and-Run Drivers
Lewisville police have found LPR to be particularly useful in hit-and-run cases. If the victim or any of the witnesses of the hit-and-run managed to record the plate number of the driver who left the scene, police can check their LPR system to see when that plate was last detected, and where. This can help authorities pinpoint where that car is usually spotted, which can in turn help them make an arrest.
Two of our criminal law attorneys are former police officers, and can answer any questions you may have about Texas laws.