Number plate reading cameras to track people who are breaking lockdown restrictions.

Police will be using the number plate technology to track where drivers have come from. Credit: PA Images

Devon and Cornwall Police officers will use automatic number plate recognition technology to crackdown on the number of people making non-essential journeys.

The static roadside cameras will scan cars in several locations across the south west.

Officers will have an app on their devices to find out live information about where the drivers have travelled from.

The police control room dealt with more than 250 Covid breaches on Saturday (9 January) alone.

In a series of tweets from the Control Room Supervisor Glenn Shuttleworth, he described the pattern of people attending their holiday homes as "frustrating".

Only a few days ago, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has asked celebrities to set a good example by not travelling to the area during the third lockdown.

Commissioner Alison Hernandez is backing the use of ANPR to prevent people coming into the region. Credit: PA

Now Alison Hernandez says using numberplate recognition is both innovative and necessary during this third national lockdown.

Commissioner Hernandez said: “We need to be doing everything we possibly can to prevent the spread of coronavirus.  The people of Devon and Cornwall have done a great job so far which is reflected in our case rates which are among the very lowest in the whole country.

“But we mustn’t become complacent. I was saddened to hear about the reports of hundreds of covid breaches over the weekend, many of which are understood to be related to second homes. 

“As such, I welcome the force’s use of ANPR to monitor vehicle movements and make sure the only journeys being made here are essential ones.  Using this technology helps us see where certain vehicles have come from and allows officers to further investigate their reasons for travel. 

“We have all been through so much this past year and I know this latest lockdown will be very difficult and frustrating for many people.  But we must get this virus under control to stop the spread, save lives and protect our NHS.”

Exercise is only permitted in the area you live. Credit: ITV News

At the weekend (9 January) Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer called on everyone to 'regulate yourself' in a bid to bring infection rates down.

He said: "1,000 people a day are dying.  You know what to do, please do it.

"We are going to enforce and there is going to be an awful lot of activity and an awful lot of difficult conversations if this carries on.”