News @ AsiaOne

Spotting stolen, wanted vehicles just got easier

System is among several devices unveiled at Police Workplan Seminar. -ST
Sujin Thomas

Tue, May 06, 2008
The Straits Times

THE police may soon have a gadget that can quickly detect blacklisted vehicles - like stolen cars or those used in crime getaways.

The technical trial was completed last week on the Mobile Automated Vehicle Screening System (MAVSS), which comprises a car-mounted camera and a laptop computer.

The camera, which sits on the roof of police patrol cars, can scan up to six licence plates of parked or moving vehicles every second and feed the scans into a laptop in the police car. The scans are then compared against a database of stolen or wanted vehicles for matches, which come up within seconds.

The system, customised from a similar one in use by European crime enforcement agencies, does away with manual screening.

The police said it is not certain when the system will be introduced here.

Motor vehicle thefts hit a new high last year with 1,104 cases. The figures were 900 in 2006 and 1,058 in 2005.

The MAVSS was among the new devices unveiled at the Police Workplan Seminar at The Grassroots Club in Ang Mo Kio yesterday.

It was attended by more than 800 guests, including police officers, grassroots leaders and corporate and community partners.

Another piece of hardware which debuted was an armoured personnel carrier which can transport up to 14 Special Operations Command officers into barricaded areas, including scenes of demonstrations and riots.

The 12.5-tonne Australian-made vehicle, which can shove aside barricades weighing 7.5 tonnes, will be part of the Singapore Police Force's arsenal at next year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit here.

The police are also tapping into popular video-sharing website YouTube to raise public awareness of crime and terrorist threats among the IT-savvy here.

A number of episode-based documentaries have been uploaded since late last month, such as 'Be Alert Against Terrorism' and 'You Could Be My Victim', which depict possible real-life scenarios and how to deal with them.


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