One of the most highly debated topics in society today deals with racial profiling by law enforcement. How do license plate recognition systems eliminate racial profiling? One of the clearest ways that LPR systems helps with claims of racial profiling by police is that by rule, LPR cameras simply scan the license plate of a car, irrespective of the identity of the vehicle owner. Racial profiling claims involving police are usually interpreted because of personal biases emerging on the job, which LPR virtually eliminates. License plate scanners are an automated technology, not containing any biases, and which does not consider the race of the vehicle owner or driver. Riverland Technologies is proud to present an LPR system that aids law enforcement indiscriminately while keeping our neighborhoods safe and assisting in catching the truly dangerous criminals.
Rather than tracking and tracing individuals based on the color of their skin, LPR cameras look for license plates which:
- have suspected suspicious activity
- have been reported as or are suspected of being stolen
- are reported as involved in a crime
- do not typically frequent the said location
- visited an area before, during, or after a crime was committed
That’s to name just a few of the ways LPR aids law enforcement! Notice, not one of these services is based on race or any other distinctive quality of a person. Rather, plate readers simply view the location in question and provide information about the vehicles that have been in the vicinity. This makes it impossible for law enforcement to racially profile, as with LPRs, they are not researching data about an individual, but rather a vehicle. While there is a plethora of claims of racial profiling by police, LPR cannot be said to be part of one such problem.
When reviewing racial profiling statistics, LPR actually shows a reduction in the number of biased police stops due to the automated nature of LPR. Instead of a police officer – who may be accused of racial biases – deciding who to stop, the automated reader determines who is a viable priority based on previously gathered data about proven or suspected criminal activity. This further ensures that whoever is stopped has already committed a crime or is justifiably suspected of a crime. This removes the possibility of an individual being targeted for “driving while black” and replaces it with verifiable data determining who is targeted.
LPR Statistics and Data
Another benefit to utilizing LPR as unbiased entities is the data which can be gathered from license plate readers. For example, if readers are placed at intersections in different neighborhoods to monitor speeding, the automated systems will record all the cars that speed. Data about the owners of such cars can be gathered and reviewed to determine if there are trends among those who consistently speed. Perhaps this data can be used to debunk and change common misguided biases, proving these biases unfounded.
Racial profiling by police data can also be improved by the utilization of LPR. Any statistics gathered by LPR systems are by nature unbiased and cannot be weighted by the preexisting biases of the collector. For example, speeding statistics would not be based upon speeding tickets issued by police. Law enforcement may have pulled over one race more often than another, making statistics seem as though that specific race speeds more than others when the claim can be made that they were ticketed more often due to the color of their skin. LPR systems and the data they collect result in clearer, less skewed, or weighted statistics.
All in all, the use of license plate recognition by law enforcement provides more protection for individuals from racial bias. Riverland’s Matrix LPR system decreases crime by monitoring criminal activity using efficient and automated methods, they decrease the likelihood of claims of racial profiling by law enforcement, and LPR provides less biased and adjusted statistical data.