Local neighborhoods hoping to help solve crime with license plate reading cameras

Residents in Duluth and other metro Atlanta cities are taking steps to identify, and hopefully deter, criminals who are breaking into their homes and cars by installing license plate reader technology in their neighborhoods.

The technology, called Flock Safety, is a “wireless license plate reading security camera” that subdivisions and neighborhoods throughout the country are using to record the license plate of every car that comes through the area, said Josh Thomas, a spokesman for the company.

A camera has already gone up at the intersection of Medlock Bridge Road and Prestwick Club Drive in Duluth, with additional Gwinnett neighborhoods scheduled to install the devices in upcoming months.

Though the cameras are usually used in conjunction with police investigations, private homeowner’s associations own all the data, which is stored on the cloud and deleted after 30 days.

Until those 30 days are up, however, residents who have access to the data — Flock’s Chief Operating Officer Paige Todd said usually there are only several people designated to have access to the footage so the system doesn’t get abused — can identify, via a “Google-like search,” what cars were in the neighborhood during the time of a break-in or other crime.

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