Hamilton police roll out new in-car cameras, automated licence plate readers


Published May 1, 2023 at 11:45 am

Some police cruisers in Hamilton are now equipped with new tech, namely automated licence plate readers and in-car camera systems.

Police began rolling out the new tech today (May 1) and expect to have full implementation done by September 2023 on a total of 78 patrol vehicles.

The licence plate readers will be used to assist traffic and crime investigations by detecting plates that are linked to incidents such as wanted and missing persons, stolen vehicles, and unattached plates.

“In addition, there are benefits that will come with having an objective recording of an interaction between an officer and member of the public,” said police.

The new tech comes after police received a provincial grant to “increase transparency and accountability in policing.” Police forces across the province received grants to help fund certain projects over a three-year period from 2022 to 2025.

“Community safety is a top priority, and our government has been strengthening our justice system to protect communities and hold offenders accountable,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones when the funding was announced in April 2022.

Police say guidelines released by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) will be followed to ensure the new technology respects privacy rights recognized under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that personal information is handled in a lawful manner.

Hamilton Police Chief and former Toronto Police officer Frank Bergen has come out in the past in favour of using data and technology to play a bigger role in police service. He has been credited with playing a key role in “modernizing” the Toronto Police.

“We recognize that policing faces challenges but I believe we can turn those challenges into opportunities and create a Hamilton Police Service that enhances innovation, sustainability and affordability,” said Chief Bergen.


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