Crime Matters column with Superintendent Paula Booth

The new camera vans are packed with sophisticated equipment which includes cameras covering the front, rear and sides.
The new camera vans are packed with sophisticated equipment which includes cameras covering the front, rear and sides.

Superintendent Paula Booth is North Yorkshire Police’s County Commander covering the districts of Harrogate, Craven, Hambleton and Richmondshire.

Here, she welcomes the arrival of Harrogate District’s very own crime fighting safety camera vans.

Hello folks, I hope you’re keeping well. For my latest column, I am delighted to tell you about our new safety cmera vans that are now operating across the district.

They are equipped with sophisticated technology which includes cameras covering the front, rear and sides.

The primary function of the safety camera vans is to support casualty reduction on the roads by positively affecting driver behaviour to ensure that individuals drive more safely.

As well as catching people who blatantly flout motoring laws such driving at excess speed, the equipment is also able to identify drivers using hand-held mobile phones and other common offences like failing to wear seatbelts.

Crucially, when they are deployed into key locations, they will also play a role in our intelligence gathering capability in relation to cross-border criminals.

This is because the vehicles are equipped with the very latest mobile ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology which allows us to actively track and target vehicles that are linked to criminal activity.

This is on top of the extensive fixed and temporary site ANPR capability we already have in place across the county.

And to pile on the misery for offenders, this criminal intelligence network is linked up regionally, nationally and internationally.

If you are an active criminal it must be a horrible feeling having your every move watched.

All in all, the new safety camera vans are a great piece of kit that will definitely increase safety and security in our district.

How can you help?

Police always need fresh information and intelligence to keep on top of criminal activity.

For example, criminals often change their vehicles or registration plates.

That’s why we need to know about it to keep our intelligence systems up-to-date.

Put simply, we cannot operate effectively without the assistance of our communities.

If you are suspicious about any vehicles in your area, you can play your part by taking down the details – including the make, model and registration-number, if possible – and “call it in” to North Yorkshire Police on 101.

Thanks again for your continued support for your local police.

We greatly appreciate it.