Given the wide range of missions, resources, and contexts the police departments operate in, research can not directly specify which types of technology are most useful for a particular police agency. However, the existing research does provide a rigorous body of evaluations of police practices that can help leaders to assess the types of innovations that may be most suitable for their agencies and avoid common pitfalls in the adoption of technology. The GMU team suggests that police leaders consider the following questions as they use research evidence to determine the types of strategies and technologies that their agencies will adopt:
Evidence-Based Policing: Optimizing the use of LPR
For police agencies who have already acquired LPR, commanders should consider strategies that can optimize its crime deterrent effectiveness and the effectiveness of patrol more generally. For the entire field of rigorous to highly rigorous research on police tactics and strategies, visit the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix.
Reports from the GMU Study
The 2016 LPR National Survey Report is now available.
Download the 2010 GMU Report for SPAWAR, which contains a discussion of efficiency and effectiveness of LPR (Chapter 1); the National Survey of LPR use among police agencies in the United States (Chapter 2); the results of the randomized controlled experiments (Chapter 3); and the community survey (Chapter 4).
- Ohio State Highway Patrol Assessment of LPR Technology
- A Report of the Utility of License Plate Recognition Systems in British Columbia
- Taylor, B., Koper, C., and Woods, D. (2012). Combating vehicle theft in Arizona: A randomized experiment with license plate recognition technology. Criminal Justice Review, 37(1), 24-50.
- The United Kingdom’s Home Office Reports on ANPR (LPR): 2003, 2006
- Ozer, M. (2010). Assessing the effectiveness of Cincinnati Police Department’s Automatic License Plate Reader System within the framework of intelligence-led policing and crime prevention theory. Dissertation: University of Cincinnati.
- License Plate Recognition (LPR) Systems: Function, Performance, and Considerations for Law Enforcement Agencies
- License Plate Recognition Technology
LPR Deployment for Police Leadership
The Experience: What policies and practices have been developed by other police departments that are currently using LPR?
The Evidence: What sort of evidence should the police be using to make decisions about innovative practices and the aquisition of technology? What are the findings of research that has evaluated LPR in particular?
Important Considerations: Law enforcement agencies must be aware, sensitive, and transparent about LPR concerns related to data collection, and privacy.