ANPR ‘ring of steel’ tightens around Royston

THE controversial automatic number plate recognition ‘ring of steel’ has almost been completed around Royston with the majority of cameras installed.

It is unknown if the devices are all fully operational and Hertfordshire Constabulary will not reveal the location of the cameras - which will make the town the first in the country to be encircled by ANPR cameras.

Assistant Chief Constable Alison Roome Gifford commented: “Thanks to our partners in the council and local business community, the majority of the planned ANPR cameras in the Royston area are now installed and we look forward to them helping us to keep Royston - not to mention the rest of the county - safe.

“Combined with the local Royston Safer Neighbourhood Team, dedicated ANPR road policing team and county wide resources, criminals now have even more reason to keep out of the area.”

The cameras which will monitor all roads in and out of the town have not been without their critics with national pressure groups pushing Royston to the forefront of a civil liberty battle.

Big Brother Watch, No CCTV and Privacy International have all opposed the cameras, concerned that information will be retained and examined by data mining software.

As well as lodging a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office, they say there is no precedent for their installation.

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The police, North Hertfordshire District Council, and business partnership Royston First have all contributed funds to the project.

Royston has been chosen for the scheme because of its location, with both the A10 and A505 roads running through the town.