South Wales Use CCTV and License Plate Recognition to Pick up 'Rogue Cars'

Criminals on the move in Swansea are being tracked down using the city's CCTV cameras, it has emerged.

Hi-tech equipment inside the spy cameras can pick up rogue cars and their occupants.

South Wales Police yesterday mounted a day-long operation using their Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology.

But Swansea is the only place in Wales where the equipment has been linked to the city's CCTV system to boost its effectiveness.

Superintendent Phil Davies said they used cameras in the city centre, as well as mobile equipment in the Morriston and Loughor areas.

"We're in the early stages of improving the CCTV cameras and this demonstrates what can be achieved within the city centre," he said.

"The cameras are linked to a computer which gives us a hit on any vehicle involved in criminality.

"An interceptor team will then stop and arrest the occupants if they are brought to our notice."

The equipment can be used to catch disqualified drivers, people driving with no insurance and those responsible for committing all sorts of crimes.

"All the Welsh forces are involved in this operation and Swansea is lucky enough to be the only place in Wales with this link-up to CCTV.

"It's been in operation for a few weeks now, but it's the first time it's been used in an operation.

"As well as detecting crimes, it is also good from a prevention point of view, as a deterrent to people who know it's there. Not only are they being watched, but their number plates are being read.

"We will be looking to put it in other areas of Wales in the near future."