The Devon and Cornwall Police have decided to appeal a ruling ordering them to disclose the location of fixed automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) cameras.
Steven Mathieson, news editor at Guardian Government Computing, filed a Freedom of Information request with the police forces but the request was turned down. Even the Information Commissioner’s Office sided with the police force.
Mathieson then approached the Information Rights Tribunal which ruled that the Devon and Cornwall Police had to disclose the location of the cameras within 35 days.
Now, the police force is filing an appeal to the decision as they believe that disclosing the location of the camera will allow criminals to circumvent them and avoid detection.
“The force believes that revealing the exact location of ANPR sites will seriously reduce their impact as a crime fighting tool in identifying suspects and offenders,” a police spokesperson told the BBC.
“There is no doubt that since the advent of ANPR the police's ability to proactively target criminals on the road network has increased dramatically. Showing a criminal the exact location of a camera will make those cameras easier to avoid and thus make capturing criminals more difficult,” the spokesperson added.