Saugeen Shores, Ontario Canada
For EMERGENCIES call 9-1-1   Police Station: 519-832-9200

Automated Licence Plate Recognition Program

The Saugeen Shores Police Service uses Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) cameras to automatically scan and detect licence plates in the surrounding area of a police cruiser.  This makes it more difficult for suspended drivers, drivers of stolen cars, and other vehicles with plates in poor standing to drive undetected.  Under optimal conditions, the ALPR system is capable of scanning thousands of licence plates per hour.

ALPR equipped cruiser

What does ALPR look like ?

Four cameras are mounted on top of a specialized police cruiser.  Two cameras point forward and two cameras point backwards, so that an officer can scan cars in multiple directions.

How does it work ?

The ALPR continuously scans licence plates as an officer operates the police cruiser in the community.  The officer is notified when there is a "hit" from a "hot list" and will take the appropriate enforcement action.  For example, if the hit indicated a licence plate was owned by a suspended driver, the officer would stop the vehicle to determine if the driver of the vehicle was that person.

What is a hot list ?

Officers who operate the ALPR equipped police cruisers have access to an Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Canadian Police Information Centre "hot list", which is a data base that contains millions of licence plates in poor standing.  If the ALPR camera scans a licence plate that is registered in the hot list, it produces a hit, alerting the officers on a monitor in the cruiser that the plate is in poor standing.
Licence plates in poor standing can fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Plates that belong to a driver with a suspension
  • Plates associated with stolen vehicles or that are reported stolen or missing
  • Plates that have been suspended
  • Plates with expired permits
  • Plates associated with persons with outstanding warrants or who are reported missing.

For a complete list of reasons, please read the IPC's Guidance Report.

The information stored in the hot list is information that is already available to our officers if they were to query your  licence plate on the computer in their cruiser themselves.  It does not give them access to any new information.

What is a hit ?

A hit happens when a scanned licence plate matches a licence plate on the hot list.

What is non-hit ?

A non-hit happens when a scanned licence plate does not mate a plate on the hot list.

What happens if you scan my licence plate?  Is my information stored in your system ?

If your licence plate is a non-hit, the officer will not even be notified that your plate was scanned.  All information related to a non-hit is deleted.

If your licence plate is a hit, the officer will receive a notification of the hit and will receive basic information about the vehicle and the registered owner such as the make, model and colour of the vehicle, and the name, gender and date of birth of the owner.

The officer must then stop the vehicle and verify all information within the hit before taking any enforcement action.  Hit information is retained in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).

Can the ALPR take pictures or video of anything else ?

The scanner does not record video, and does not save or analyze pictures of anything that is not a licence plate.  It can not be used to detect moving violations, such as speeding, going through a red light or stop sign, and distracted driving.  The cameras are angled downward to focus on licence plates, not the driver or any passengers in the vehicle.
How many ALPR units do you have ?
The Saugeen Shores Police Service has three cruisers that are equipped with ALPR systems.

Where are they located ?

The three cruisers are deployed throughout the Town of Saugeen Shores.


The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) has released guidelines on the use of ALPRS by police services.  The report ensures that the Police Service's use of this technology respects citizens privacy rights recognized under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that personal information is handled in a lawful manner. 
Our collection, retention, use and disclosure of any personal information obtained from the ALPR program is done so in compliance with the
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).

Questions ?

If you have any questions or concerns related to this technology please contact the Saugeen Shores Police Service at 519-832-9200.

Contact Us

Saugeen Shores Police Service
1240 MacKenzie Road, PO Box 1269
Saugeen Shores, ON
N0H 2C0
T: 519-832-9200

For Emergencies call 911