Beware the cactus. If you’re stealing cars and driving through Paradise Valley, Arizona you might just get busted by one. Their new license plate reader system is shrouded in secrecy and prickly needles.
The city recently installed a license plate reader system with cameras hidden in fake cactuses throughout the city. The new system is part of a $2 million technology upgrade. The upscale city seems like a strange place to randomly scan for stolen vehicles.
Oakland, California has a similar license plate reader system in place. In four years of use they saw just 0.16% of scans showing hits in their database. A place like Paradise Valley is likely to be even lower according to Daniel Amen.
City officials claim that hiding the cameras in cactuses was for aesthetic purposes. I think it’s fairly obvious why they hid them. If bad guys knew where they were they could just avoid them.
Hiding LPR cameras isn’t anything new. Many cities will hide them even more obscurely. Cameras have been put in ladders and even taxi cabs in other installations.
I think that they’re being secretive about the program and hiding the cameras so everyone just forgets about them altogether. The less people know about them the more effective they become.