ANPR & BWC – The Future of Information Gathering Technology

Body Worn Camera data collected through Automatic Number Plate Recognition are two state-of-the-art sources of information, both available through Edesix.

The security technology landscape is constantly progressing, which helps bolster businesses and authorities by providing cutting edge intelligence gathering tools.

Body Worn Camera (BWC) footage and data collected through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) are two such state-of-the-art sources of information, both available through Edesix.

Both ANPR and BWCs focus on utilising video footage to gather intelligence for the user, ANPR uses machine learning to sift through many images and videos taken by specialist cameras, whilst BWCs convey the point of view of the wearer, with footage that can be used as court-ready evidence.

Managing the data gathered through these means has proven a challenge in the past, however, as technology progresses, the ability to integrate multiple streams of information into single solutions is becoming streamlined and simplified.

Body Worn Camera footage is utilised across the world and various industries to help gather tamperproof evidence, deter false claims against the wearer and identify best practice for training. The device itself acts as a deterrent against acts of abuse, as simply wearing the camera has been proven to change behaviour and de-escalate situations. The footage taken is encrypted and offers a unique and personal insight into the view of the wearer, especially given that BWCs record audio, which can give context to incidents that Video-only CCTV installations would not be able to convey.  

Edesix handles Body Worn Camera footage through VideoManager, a web-based back-end software, which can integrate with leading Video Management Systems to control multiple streams of footage simultaneously, most notably CCTV footage.    

CCTV, now normally handled by fixed IP cameras, can provide a constant viewpoint of the most at-risk areas whilst BWCs handle areas where fixed cameras would be ineffective, such as on large sites, where the entire premises cannot be covered by CCTV cameras alone, routes outside where there would be no place to set up CCTV or in the blind spots of sites were CCTV is already installed.

Viewing both CCTV footage and BWC livestreams in tandem allows for a greater area of coverage, and provides more immediate information to the users, as well as multiple perspectives of any unfolding event.

ANPR technology involves infrared cameras, which can be stationary, like CCTV, or mobile, like BWCs, that photograph number plates; timestamp the images with the date, time and location coordinates; and store the information in searchable databases for use by agencies. This can create a network of information regarding the locations and movements of vehicles of interest throughout a country. Most notably used by Police, it can also be used by Parking Enforcement Agencies for number plate enabled parking, to collect outstanding fines, and to monitor access to pre-booked parking, as well as for traffic management.

Using BWCs to protect users and capture footage whilst using ANPR for data-driven intelligence is a powerful combination. For example, ANPR could provide the whereabouts of a vehicle of interest for the Police. Police officers then investigate the vehicle whilst wearing BWCs, their findings instantly shared with a Headquarters or Precinct with a live view from the officers’ viewpoint to provide further information and evidence. Using ANPR to track Vehicles of interest and having officers equipped with BWCs to follow up means there is a continuous intelligence stream created by these two forms of video technology. ANPR finds the target whilst BWCs record the interaction once it’s found. This interaction creates more incoming intelligence for authorities, protects officers on patrol and provides an audit trail of information from the vehicle of interest to court-ready footage taken by BWCs.