Funding for Automated Licence Plate Readers by Manitoba Public Insurance for Manitoba Police Agencies (Details)

Name of province/ territory:


City/ Region:


Description of Initiative:

An automated licence plate reader (ALPR) uses cameras and computer software technology to scan plates of motor vehicles that are either mobile or parked. The licence plates can be checked against police and motor vehicle / driver's licence registration databases for the purposes of determining if the vehicle is stolen, unregistered or that it might be driven by a suspended or disqualified driver. An alert given by the ALPR will signal to police that something has been detected. Without such equipment, it is left to chance that the police might detect an issue with a particular vehicle.

ALPRs represent a significant capital investment for police agencies. Prior to this initiative there was only one in Manitoba. It was in use by the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) and used initially as part of their stolen vehicle interdiction strategy. ALPRs cost approximately $30,000 per unit. This can have significant impacts upon police agencies' budgets.

The Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) Traffic Committee approached Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) with a proposal for this agency to fund a number of ALPRs for a pilot project. The respective police agencies conducted research using the Winnipeg Police Service ALPR with great success in both RCMP and Brandon Police Service (BPS) jurisdictions. MPI agreed to fund five ALPRs on a pilot project basis. The ALPRs have been in operation since the spring of 2012, and anecdotally they are reported as making enforcement efforts more focused and efficient.

Initiative Key Objectives:

  • Relieve the pressure on police services in terms of budgeting for ALPRs.
  • Create a mutually beneficial effort between the police community and MPI. Getting high-risk drivers off the streets, who may be operating stolen or unregistered vehicles and who are suspended or disqualified from driving, addresses both the public safety mandate of the police and the potential cost to the insurance industry, given possible accident claims.
  • Ensure a more efficient use of police resources, given the technological advantage provided by the ALPRs.

Section Responsible for Implementation:

MACP member agencies, RCMP, WPS, BPS and MPI.

Key Contact:

Inspector Brent TAYLOR

Groups/ Agencies/ Key Partners Involved:

  • other police services
  • other government departments/agencies

Level of Involvement (consultative - information sharing) and/or cooperative - direct involvement):

A cooperative venture between the noted police agencies, MACP and MPI.

Amount of Time Initiative has been in Place:

The initiative began with discussions in 2010, research in 2010 and 2011, the purchase of the ALPRs in 2011 and the devices becoming operational in the spring of 2012.

Reason for Undertaking the Initiative:

Both fiscal and "efficient use of police resources" considerations were taken into account.

Resources Required to Implement this Initiative:

There were limited costs to the respective police agencies. There were regular wage costs involved during the research phase, while utilizing the WPS ALPR and during the subsequent report writing phase. An estimate of these costs is not available, but, as stated, this came from regular wages.

Method of Implementation:

This initiative is a pilot project. MPI sponsored two ALPRs for WPS, two for the RCMP and one for BPS.

Key Outcomes of the Initiative:

This project is still under evaluation.

Availability of a Communication Strategy:


Key Messages used to Publicize the Initiative:

MPI and the respective police services work collaboratively on addressing media questions. Articles written to date have been favourable.

Forms of Evaluation by which the Initiative will be Assessed:

  • internal
  • qualitative

Evaluation Completed or Community Feedback Received:


Summary of the Outcomes:

Each police serivce using the ALPR evaluates usage regularly. As this is a sponsored project, reports of a quantitative and qualitative nature are provided to MPI.

A comprehensive evaluation will be completed at the end of the pilot project.

Summary of the Performance Measure Data Collected:


Economics of Policing Pillars:

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Record Entry Date:


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