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Our equipment to aid policing in Surrey

The equipment we use to help keep the public safe and reduce crime.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition - ANPR

The purpose of using ANPR in surrey is to deny criminals the use of our roads.

ANPR provides lines of enquiry and evidence in the investigation of crime and is used by law enforcement agencies throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Surrey Police uses ANPR technology to help detect, deter and disrupt criminality at a local, force, regional and national level, including tackling travelling criminals, Organised Crime Groups and terrorists.

As a vehicle passes an ANPR camera, its registration number is read and instantly checked against database records of vehicles of interest. Police officers can intercept and stop a vehicle, check it for evidence and, where necessary, make arrests. A record for all vehicles passing by a camera is stored, including those for vehicles that are not known to be of interest at the time of the read that may in appropriate circumstances be accessed for investigative purposes. The use of ANPR in this way has proved to be important in the detection of many offences, including locating stolen vehicles, tackling uninsured vehicle use and solving cases of terrorism, major and organised crime. It also allows officers’ attention to be drawn to offending vehicles whilst allowing law abiding drivers to go about their business unhindered.

ANPR cameras from Surrey Police submit copies of vehicle registration marks to the National ANPR Data Centre (NADC) daily. ANPR data is stored together with similar data from other forces for a period of two years.

We have clear rules to control access to ANPR data to ensure that access is for legitimate investigation purposes. Members of staff only have access to ANPR data if it is relevant to their role and the majority of those who have permission may only do so for a maximum period of 90 days from the date it was collected. Some staff are authorised to access data for up to 2 years subject to authorisation of a senior officer.

Searches of ANPR data can confirm whether vehicles associated with a known criminal have been in the area at the time of a crime and can dramatically speed up investigations. 

In addition to being mounted within police vehicles, Surrey Police ANPR cameras are used at fixed locations where they will help to detect, deter and disrupt criminality. In line with national policy, we do not disclose details of our fixed locations as this information is likely to be of benefit to offenders and if known could reduce the value of ANPR to policing.

National guidelines state that, if a police force proposes to install additional ANPR cameras, an assessment must be conducted that demonstrates a clear need, taking account of the following factors:

  • national security and counter terrorism;
  • serious, organised and major crime;
  • local crime;
  • community confidence and reassurance, and crime prevention and reduction.

In assessing whether new cameras are to be deployed, a Privacy Impact Assessment will be undertaken. We will consult with persons and organisations with a reasonable interest in the proposal unless that would be contrary to the purpose of the development, namely to detect, deter and disrupt criminality.

Surrey Police are also committed to regularly review the location of ANPR cameras, in the context of the above criteria, to make sure that the continued deployment remains justified. All reviews will include consideration of the impacts on privacy.

Further information

The Chief Constable is the data controller for the ANPR system operated within the force area and is responsible for ensuring all data in the ANPR system is handled in accordance with guidelines.

Additional information and copies of relevant documents are available at www.npcc.police.uk/anpr

Taser

"Taser is a very useful tool for police but is not without its challenges, especially when dealing with vulnerable members of society.

"We have taken a great deal of time and effort to try and get the use of Taser right; our training for staff is some of the most comprehensive in the country but we are not complacent.

"Each incident where a Taser is drawn or used is reviewed by a senior officer so that lessons may be learned and we monitor any developing trends in Taser usage."

ACC Steve Barry

The Taser is a single shot device designed to temporarily incapacitate a person through use of an electrical current which temporarily interferes with the body’s neuromuscular system.

Tasers can be worn on the belt or on an officer’s body armour and is distinguishable as it is bright yellow in colour.

Psychological - Taser stands out, it is yellow and black. The laser sight allows the officer to accurately aim the Taser as well as giving a clear warning to the subject that they have been targeted. Publicity through the press and on social media has meant that most suspects are aware of the effects of Taser and tend to surrender without the need to discharge the weapon. In the vast majority of cases it was not necessary to discharge the Taser, its presence alone was enough to bring the situation to a swift conclusion without the need for force to be used.

Physiological - When fired Taser delivers a sequence of very short high voltage pulses that result in the loss of voluntary muscle control causing the subject to fall to the ground or freeze. In the X26 the voltage peaks at 50,000 volts and when it reaches the body it is substantially less. The volts are responsible for delivering the amps. Taser runs off 0.0021 amps at average performance.

When Taser, or any other force is used on an individual, a police officer will always have to justify their actions as being necessary and proportionate under the Law.

Taser training doesn’t simply focus on the Taser itself, officers are trained to assess the correct circumstances where Taser could be used.  Officers are trained to identify when the use is proportionate, legal and necessary and about their accountability for their actions.

Application Process
All police officers within Surrey and Sussex Police who are identified to carry Taser must submit a written application, be recommended by their supervisor (sergeant or above) and supported by an officer of at least the rank of Superintendent. The Taser application process is intended to assess the suitability of the candidate to become an Authorised Taser Officer. Officers must also be up to date with their Officers Safety Training, First Aid training, must pass an eyesight test and an assessment is also made of their discipline history for suitability. If the candidate meets all these requirements they then move on to the Taser Initial Course.

Taser Initial Course
The course is an intense four-day programme made up of formative and summative phases, consisting of the following key elements:

  • Classroom based learning - Professional Standards, Law, and Policy and Procedure
  • Practical exercises and drills
  • Live fire training
  • Qualification shoot
  • Scenario based training

Candidates are assessed throughout and must demonstrate consistency at an acceptable level in each competence in order to pass.

Refresher Training
If successful, officers will take part in an annual one day refresher course.

Justification

Every time an officer uses, or offers their Taser for use e.g ‘red dotting’ a subject, they must justify their actions, demonstrating they have considered all tactical options open to them.   Every use of Taser is recorded and reviewed in a Post Incident Procedure.  In Surrey and Sussex these are conducted by an officer of at least the rank of Inspector.  All uses of Taser are reported to the Home Office in great detail, including those where young or otherwise vulnerable people are involved.

Accountability

Each Taser has a ‘data port’ which records when it is used; this is logged electronically and can be viewed and scrutinised at any time.

Taser usage

  Drawn Aimed Red Dotted Arced Fired Drive Stun Angled Drive Stun
2016 33 7 67 0 13 3 0
2015 22 6 70 1 37 9 1
2014 32 6 66 2 15 5 0

 

Drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. The term UAV covers a wide range of systems from the small children’s toy to large military systems. UAVs are most often referred to as drones and this is how the police service refer to them.

Our drones are small battery-powered rotor systems. Commonly known as quadcopters, they are powered by four electric motors. They take off and land vertically like helicopters.

We have five Aeryon SkyRangers which weigh 2.6 kg including the battery and camera. They can operate in all weather conditions and in winds of up to 65 kilometres per hour.

How much did they cost?

All our drones were purchased using external funding grants. They cost £64,000 each including the cameras.

The systems have the option of carrying the following cameras:
• Dual daylight/thermal camera (4 x digital zoom)
• Daylight HD camera (4 x digital zoom)
• Daylight HD camera (30 x Optical Zoom)

We are using drones to:
• Assist with searches for missing people
• Assist with investigations into road traffic collisions, major crime incidents and Industrial Accident investigations.
• Assist with event planning and management
• Provide situational awareness to officers and Commanders in a variety of policing situations.

Sussex and Surrey Police drones are only deployed for specific operational tasks and are not used for general patrol/surveillance. They are not patrolling the skies on a daily basis.

Using drones will help us:
• Use our resources more effectively by having the right resources in the right place at the right time to resolve incidents quickly.
• Enhance the safety of the public and police by deploying a drone into situations which would otherwise involve risks to individuals.
• Provide good quality evidence to assist apprehension and prosecution of offenders.
• Enhance joint working with other Emergency Services.

Yes. The Emergency Services need to work within the existing legislation and regulation in respect of drone use. We operate in accordance with our permission granted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). All our operators have passed a CAA accredited training course and are qualified remote pilots. We are fully insured.

We have liaised closely with the Information and Surveillance Commissioners offices and worked with them in developing specific Privacy Impact Assessments for police use of drones and a self-assessment document to test compliance against the CCTV codes of practice.

The Surveillance Commissioner has visited Sussex and viewed a drone being operated, declaring confidence in how police are using drones.

We have used the same processes for storing images taken by drones as we do for our Body Worn Video cameras.