Sunday, October 05, 2008

Manila Police District's Automatic License Plate Recognition System (ALPRS)

Steps in the right direction, that's how I call the recent acquisition by the Manila Police District of the so-called Automatic License Plate Recognition System (ALPRS)

After installing security cameras at various locations in the city and equiping mobile patrol cars with GPS (global positioning system) to track their locations, the patrol cars will also be installed with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to capture license plate numbers and using a technology similar to optical character recognition (OCR), compare these with a database of “hot cars” maintained by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Highway Patrol Group. A tagged license plate is alerted to all mobile patrol units to arrest the driver and seize the "hot vehicle," either carnapped or used in a criminal activity. A blackberry device is used to do this.

With these developments, the Manila Police District, also called Manila's Finest, is the best-equipped police unit in the country, world-class that is-- if only they can rid their ranks of pulis patola, kotong cops and goons in uniform!

Note: this system is a good subject for movies. I wonder how the MPD secures their system. The database is a good target practice for hacking by miscreants; but beware of the consequences. I don't want to see the system used in fighting evil hacked.

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