A hi-tech radar device being used by police is catching people out for unregistered, unwarranted and stolen cars.
The automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) device was briefly used in South Canterbury two weeks ago.
Some motorists were caught out by the device, which reads the number plates of vehicles as they drive past and then links back to a police intelligence database.
The ANPR, which sits on top of the patrol car, allows police to quickly identify if the vehicle passing by is registered, warranted or stolen.
It can also provide police with information regarding the owner's driving status, including whether they are disqualified, suspended from driving or wanted on an arrest warrant.
Sergeant Simon Heeley, of Timaru police, said the device, which was on loan from Christchurch, had been used in South Canterbury earlier this month.
The device would be used in the district regularly once staff were trained in how to use it, Mr Heeley said.
ANPR, which is capable of scanning up to 3000 number plates an hour, is an extension of the traditional process by which an officer would have to call a radio dispatcher to access information in the police database.
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