Car criminals beware

CRIMINALS in North Somerset may have to try a bit harder to dodge police when new equipment is installed in the district

CRIMINALS in North Somerset may have to try a bit harder to dodge police when new equipment is installed in the district.

Automatic number plate recognition cameras will be set up at five sites, including in Weston and on some main roads.

The equipment, which can read up to 3,000 registrations every hour, is linked up to the central database of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, which will alert police if a passing vehicle is not insured or taxed.

It is already used by Avon and Somerset Constabulary in other areas and in the past it has also led to many arrests for serious crimes and drugs trafficking.


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Staff in Weston's CCTV control room can also link up to the new software thanks to an upgrade in their equipment, which was financed by the police.

The cameras will monitor traffic in Somerset Avenue at junction 21 of the M5 and also on the A370 Bridgwater Road, both on the side of the road leading into Weston.

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Others will be on the A38, near Barrow Gurney on both the southbound and northbound sides, and on the A369 in Portbury near junction 19 of the M5.

North Somerset councillor and executive member for strategic planning, highways and economic development, Elfan Ap-Rees, gave approval for the cameras to be installed.

He said: "One of the criticisms of the Safety Camera Partnership is that it only catches those who are speeding and those without tax and insurance get away with it.

"This new equipment may encourage criminals to stay out of North Somerset.

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