Vandals take angle grinder to mast felling Derry police number plate recognition cameras

Vandals have felled a police camera mast in Derry after apparently attacking the base of the road safety monitor with an angle grinder.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:08 pm

The criminal damage to the pole occurred on the busy Creggan Road last weekend.

The thoroughfare that links Creggan and Rosemount with the Hazelbank and Foyle Springs areas has suffered its share of serious accidents over the years. Police in Derry said the camera mast was an important tool for keeping people safe.

Chief Inspector Clive Beatty said: “Police are investigating criminal damage caused to an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera on Creggan Road in Derry/Londonderry. The damaged camera was discovered by officers on routine patrol during the early hours of Sunday, March 21. Enquiries into this incident are ongoing, and I would ask anyone with information to get in touch with us.”

ANPR technology reads and retains vehicle registration plates. When a car drives past one its registration number is read and instantly checked against database records of vehicles of interest.

The PSNI can intercept and stop a vehicle, check it for evidence and, where necessary, make arrests.

CI Beatty said: “ANPR cameras are important to police in keeping people safe from crime. They are in place to detect and deter motoring offences and the activities of criminals. We are committed to maintaining a system that ensures that people in all parts of Northern Ireland have the same protection from the activities of criminals and motoring offenders.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and quote reference number 212 of 21/03/21.

A report can also be made via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ or anonymously via the Crimestoppers Charity on 0800 555 111, or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/ Most staff only have access to ANPR data if it is relevant to their role and for a maximum period of 90 days from the date it was collected.