||Automatic licence plate readers scan vehicle plates to verify licence plate information. This allows police to find out if a vehicle is stolen, unregistered, or driven by a suspended or disqualified driver. These devices represent a significant capital investment for police agencies as they cost approximately $30,000 per unit. In spring 2012, three Manitoba police services began a pilot program to test this technology. Two devices are being tested in the Winnipeg Police Service, two in RCMP ‘D’ Division and one in the Brandon Police Service.
||This pilot program has several objectives:
- relieve financial pressure on Manitoba police services by funding the purchase of several automatic licence plate readers;
- create a mutually beneficial relationship between Manitoba Public Insurance and Manitoba police services by providing technology that helps police services identify high-risk and unregistered drivers. This improves public safety and reduces potential costs to the insurance industry; and
- use police resources more efficiently by providing technology that reduces the need for active surveillance and licence plate searches.
||While it is too early to evaluate this initiative, initial data reports provided to Manitoba Public Insurance seem to indicate positive results. A comprehensive evaluation will be completed at the end of the pilot project.
||Manitoba Public Insurance funded the purchase of the five automatic licence plate readers. The costs for police services involved in the pilot program were limited. The police services used existing resources for research, testing and reporting. An estimate of these costs is not available at this time.
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