Police have been given access to more than 1,000 CCTV cameras originally installed to help enforce London’s congestion charge in City Hall’s latest bid to crack down on crime.
Until now, officers were required to make separate data requests every time they required information collected by Transport for London’s camera network.
In his 2012 manifesto Mayor Boris Johnson pledged to remove the financial and time costs associated with such requests by giving the Met direct access to the cameras to augment its own network of 1,000 cameras.
Mr Johnson later announced a public consultation on the changes after being told that they would be “controversial” with some sections of the public.
City Hall says the consultation revealed “positive” support for the plans, with eight out of 10 respondents backing them.
Mayor Johnson, said: “Having access to TfL’s extensive network of number plate cameras will enable the Met to track down more criminals and help drive down crime in London.”
Detective Superintendent Neil Winterbourne from the Met Polices ANPR Bureau, said: “ANPR is an invaluable tool in the fight against crime and I am very pleased that this step has been taken.
“Officers from across the Met, whether they are part of local policing teams or a specialist unit, now use ANPR data in over 1,500 investigations each month.
The information that ANPR provides helps officers prevent and detect crime and ultimately keep the people of London safer.”