11 May 2012

Montreal, Canada, May 11, 2012 – gtechna and the Insurance Bureau of Canada announced today the implementation of a license plate recognition subsidy aimed at providing police agencies of all sizes access to a proven technology that has increased road and public safety.

The stolen car industry is a 600-million a year illicit industry in Canada, and poses serious economical and safety threats to Canadians. In fact, 40 to 65 deaths or injuries a year are directly related to auto theft, according to information provided by the Ontario Provincial Police Auto Theft Team. While reported car theft rates have decreased in the last decade, there has been an increase in fraud, allowing white collar thieves to drive off the lot with illegally purchased vehicles. The cost of auto theft to the public is $1.2 billion a year, or $48 per insurance policy holder.

Over the last few years, the IBC has put in place a crime-busting program, designed to equip police agencies with Automated License Plate Reading (ALPR) cameras, that would read thousands of plates a day as the officer drove around within their patrol areas. By comparing with lists of stolen vehicle plates, this program has resulted in the recovery of thousands of stolen vehicles, saving insurance agencies and Canadians significant costs. However, this program called for the provision of the ALPR-equipped vehicle by the IBC. As a result, the police agency had to meet certain performance and discovery standards. In a nutshell, this disqualified many of the potential users. In addition, given the capital investment that IBC made, the use of the ALPR cameras was contractually limited to stolen car recovery.   Many police and parking agencies that had an interest in ALPR, wanted to access additional functionality such as investigative data gathering, and parking enforcement.

In order to address these concerns, the IBC and gtechna are proud to introduce a new program that will complement the program that is already in place. Going forward, Police agencies may lease, rent or buy the ALPR equipment directly from the technology vendor. There is no longer any qualification criteria: any police agency qualifies for the program, and the equipment can then be used in whatever way the police agency sees fit. The police agency may then qualify for the stolen vehicle recovery fees that insurance agencies provide. Therefore, agencies that have effective vehicle recovery programs will be keeping their citizens safe and secure, while potentially increasing revenues.

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