Police in traffic camera scheme talks

Sweden's National Police Board want to conduct a pilot scheme using traffic cameras with automatic number plate recognition. But the question of integrity for drivers must first be overcome.

Police in traffic camera scheme talks

From the beginning of 2010, the tax stamp on Swedish car registration plates will disappear in a move that is hoped to save 70 milion Swedish crowns in administrative costs.

In order to check quickly whether a vehicle is taxed or not, the National Police Board are discussing the use of traffic cameras linked to a car registration system.

“The road traffic register is efficient,” superintendent Björn Lidö told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. “We can see if a car is taxed or a driving ban has been issued, among other things.”

At the same time the police want to look into what other types of registers can be linked to the system, such as vehicles of interest to criminal investigations.

“But we also have to consider the question of integrity and therefore we must have discussions with lawyers,” Lidö added.

Traffic police in England, America and Ireland use the ANPR camera system but Germany closed down its system last year.

Norway is expected to test the cameras but Denmark has rejected the possibility of an introduction.

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Who’s behind Lund’s spate of car burnings?

The university town of Lund has seen a spate of car burnings over the last ten days, and police are stumped as to the possible motive.

Who's behind Lund's spate of car burnings?
A burned out car in Lund. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Patrik Isacsson, the local police chief, said that his city was home to few of the angry, marginalized youths associated with past spates of car burnings in troubled districts like Husby and Rinkeby in Stockholm. 
“We have none of that sort of social unrest,” he told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. “The police have not antagonized any young guys who might want to then take revenge.” 
Lund has seen eight cars set on fire in the past ten days, with the most recent, an attack on a parked taxi on Norrängavägen in the east of the city, taking place early on Monday morning. 
Cars have been set alight across the city, often in locations close to the city centre. 
Isacsson said that the police were struggling to get a lead as none of the owners of the burned cars appeared to have any relation with one another. 
“We just don't know,” he admitted. 
“We are looking at youths in gangs, we're looking at pyromaniacs, we're checking out the people who like to stand and watch when they're burning, and we're looking at people who are mentally unwell and who want to get their frustration out through lighting fires.”
It was also possible that the burnings were part of an insurance fraud, Isacsson said, although he admitted this looked unlikely given the apparent lack of connection between the victims.