PIPS Technology has supplied the city of Gloucester with a network of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to monitor the road infrastructure, as well as to provide intelligence for safety within the city.
In a move forward from the ‘ring of steel’ provided by PIPS in 2006, the Gloucestershire constabulary has formed a unique partnership with the county council in which further ANPR cameras have been added to the system to improve the existing ring of steel. The system now monitors journey times and traffic flow around the city for the council while simultaneously controlling and providing intelligence for the police.
The initial ring of steel system was provided by PIPS to the constabulary with the purpose of providing an ANPR capability to enable them to obtain real-time data and information about vehicle movements throughout the city, at strategic locations on arterial vehicle routes.
The recorded number plates are used to identify matches to police databases to provide a proactive policing response to suspicious vehicles and to view and monitor events at the prescribed locations, as they occur. The system also forwards all vehicle movement information to the Anite BOF II system for review at a later date for post-event investigation.
The partnership between the Gloucestershire constabulary and the county council will provide numerous benefits to all parties involved. Combining the budgets of both authorities will allow further cameras to be installed around the entire county ensuring that all routes in and out of Gloucestershire can be monitored. The cameras send data to the PIPS police portal over three mediums of communication: semi-licensed radio, ADSL and 3G cameras. Once the data is processed it is sent to both, the Anite BOF2 and PIPS journey time measurement system (JTMS), held by the council and the police.
PC Martyn Hillier, of the Gloucestershire constabulary, said: “The partnership between the constabulary and the council will benefit the safety of the local people within Gloucestershire. With this equipment we can monitor any known or suspected criminals who may be arriving from other counties with the intention to commit a crime.”
PIPS JTMS is able to forward the data from the network of cameras to the council’s urban traffic management centre (UTMC). The UTMC system then allows the council to monitor traffic flow around the city and make informed decisions about the best ways to keep traffic moving.
PIPS JTMS can measure journey times of simple or complex road networks with thousands of multiple-lane measurement sites.
Calculations of the journey time across the network can be performed at specified intervals ranging from a fraction of a minute upwards, generating accurate and detailed data about traffic conditions across the road network in near real-time.
The partnership between the Gloucestershire constabulary and the county council has reduced installation costs, as cameras can be mounted on lampposts and take their power from a nearby supply pillar rather than having additional poles erected with a remote power source.
Most cameras use semi-licensed radio to transmit data to the police portal. This allows ongoing costs of the system to be minimised.
Brian Watkins, assistant traffic systems manager, has praised the system, saying: “We have a much better picture of how traffic moves around Gloucester thanks to the increased number of cameras that we have access to. Our UTMC team is able to spot increasing levels of congestion and provide possible solutions.”