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Speed Limits: Cameras

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the maximum retention period is for data collected from automatic number plate recognition cameras operated by her Department and its agencies. (235019)

The current Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) policy states that automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) data should only be retained for as long as there is an operational need to do so.

In general, ANPR data is retained for the first 90 days after collection, for viewing by authorised persons for post-crime interrogation and investigation. This enables investigations to use the ANPR tool to identify suspects, witnesses or patterns.

Data that are more than 90-days-old may then be retained for up to two years. However, these data are partitioned from general viewing. There is a management mechanism in place which means that a senior officer (Superintendent or above) must authorise any access to data older than 90 days. This authorisation is restricted to serious crime and counter-terrorism investigations only.

ACPO is currently revising its guidance around data retention in the light of advances with regard to the National ANPR Data Centre and the increased use of analytical software tools.