Queensland Police Service has been using mobile automatic number plate recognition cameras for some years.
Queensland Police Service has been using mobile automatic number plate recognition cameras for some years. Danielle Ford

OPINION: Cop's secret weapon revealed

I WAS amused recently to read an article by a Queensland police officer that mentioned how important a screwdriver was in his day-to-day work.

You might think a screwdriver to be a fairly unusual piece of police equipment, but he said it was an essential tool - for removing number plates from the many unregistered cars he stops.

If you didn't know, the Queensland Police Service has been using mobile automatic number plate recognition cameras for some years. The technology is astounding. Every shift, rain, hail or shine, they read hundreds of number plates and check them against the registration records.

When a suspect vehicle is detected, an alarm sounds, and the officer pulls it over for a detailed inspection.

They can also detect stolen cars and vehicles of interest, such as those involved in crimes. They can even tell if the number plates are fitted to the wrong vehicle.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has some fixed cameras as well, but in their case the postman delivers the bad news.

So, if you're driving an unregistered car, luck no longer plays a part - it's only a matter of time before the technology catches you out.


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