Crack cases open with vehicle-centric investigations


Solving crimes can be difficult when you’re working with limited information. Even when witnesses are around, they might not remember all the nitty-gritty details.

In a recent Genetec survey, law enforcement officers confirmed that while witnesses might recall general descriptions of the vehicles involved in crimes like color, model, or type of vehicle, they won’t remember more specific information such as plate numbers. If they do catch a glimpse of the license plate, they’ll only recall a few characters.

Without enough investigative leads, cases can quickly go cold. So how can you work with the information you do have to make headway on cases and apprehend more suspects? By taking a vehicle-centric investigative approach.

What is a vehicle-centric investigation?

When crimes occur, there’s usually a vehicle involved. If the license plate is stolen or you don’t have license plate information, basic automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) systems won’t be as helpful as you’d like.

The same thing happens when you rely on video surveillance recordings. While you might be able to retrieve footage of suspects and associated vehicles, it may be grainy and difficult to decipher license plate characters or determine the direction the vehicle was headed after leaving the scene. These are all crucial leads needed to narrow down and apprehend suspects.

A vehicle-centric investigation is different. It allows law enforcement professionals to use the smallest and sometimes most unassuming vehicle characteristics to uncover new leads and break a case wide open. How? By inputting that data into a vehicle-centric investigation system (VCIS) that is powered by purpose-built automatic license plate recognition (APLR) technology.

Using the VCIS, officers can filter through a database of collected vehicle information using any of the following: type or color of the vehicle, full or partial license plate numbers, the state where the vehicle is registered, location, time of the crime, etc. The search will generate the most relevant matches, allowing officers to dive deeper into the information to find new leads.

How can you use a VCIS to solve cases faster?

A vehicle-centric investigation system (VCIS) detects, analyzes, and securely stores highly accurate vehicle identification data to support public safety investigations. And it begins with placing purpose-built ALPR cameras around a city or in strategic crime hotspots.

The ALPR cameras will then automatically collect vehicle data as soon as a suspect drives through a camera’s field of view. After a crime occurs, officers can use the leads they have to easily search through vehicle identification data using an intuitive web-based application.

Officers can also re-open cold cases and see if any witness testimony about vehicle characteristics can be used to search through historical information.

For instance, even ten months later, a partial plate number could point to potential suspects who are driving around the city in the same car. Or, using the type and color of the vehicle in a VCIS search weeks following a crime could generate a match that fits other case leads.

ALPR technology can also be used to monitor crime hotspots or expedite virtual stakeouts. Investigators can program the vehicle-centric investigative system to alert them as soon as vehicles from known suspects are detected. They can then retrieve information to plot when and where the suspects were headed, to support ongoing investigations.

Why choose the Cloudrunner vehicle-centric investigation system?

Investing in the right vehicle-centric investigation system matters. When you have an easy, cost-effective, hassle-free experience with a VCIS, you’ll be able to get more violent offenders off your streets faster.

Our AutoVu Cloudrunner vehicle-centric investigation system offers law enforcement agencies high-performance edge-based ALPR devices with advanced vehicle analytics that help officers look beyond the plate.

Officers can use their phone or tablet at the office, from home, or even at a crime scene to access the intuitive user portal. From there, they can quickly conduct searches using any vehicle characteristics they’ve gathered and get the information they need to close cases faster. Witnesses might not recall license plate data. That’s why capturing data that goes beyond the license plate is key to closing cases. Cloudrunner analyzes and collects vehicle characteristics like vehicle color, type, and make. Starting in fall 2022, it will also track vehicle behavior, like speed, ensuring no suspicious driver slips through the tracks.

Since the CR-H2 ALPR camera harnesses power from the sun, there’s no hardwiring required. That means you can easily move the camera around to different areas in your city to support your investigations.

Choosing a cloud-based application and solar-powered ALPR camera ensures there are no servers, IT personnel, or technical installations required. That means your agency can start collecting vehicle leads in less than an hour.

The AutoVu Cloudrunner VCIS is not just a powerful crime-fighting tool, it’s also cost-effective. This solution includes the ALPR camera, web-based user application, and all maintenance and technical support in an affordable yearly subscription.