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Ontario Taking Steps to Prevent Auto Theft in Waterloo Region

Automated licence plate recognition technology will help fight crime and enhance public safety

    NEWS RELEASENovember 24, 2022

WATERLOO REGION — The Ontario government is providing Waterloo Regional Police Service with $1,794,329.00 to help fight crime, including auto theft.

The Waterloo Regional Police Service will use the funding to enhance Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology – a system that consists of cameras that automatically scan licence plates. The system is installed in or on active-duty police cruisers and alerts officers to stolen or expired plates, or plates registered to suspended drivers. The system can also notify officers of missing and wanted persons and vehicles associated with AMBER alerts.

“Our Government continues to make community safety a priority in Waterloo Region,” said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. “The nearly $1.8M in grant funding will allow the Waterloo Regional Police Service to implement ALPR technology which will greatly improve the ability of our officers to safely and effectively perform their duties on the streets of our townships and cities.”

“We are grateful for the funding announced today, which will allow WRPS to expand our use of ALPR technology to more of our frontline resources, supporting their efforts in traffic and public safety,” said Waterloo Regional Police Services Chief Mark Crowell. “This investment will further our Service’s commitment to continued modernization and operational excellence.”

“This investment in the Waterloo Region Police Service will greatly enhance the ability of officers to crack down on auto theft in our community,” said Brian Riddell, Member of Provincial Parliament for Cambridge. “This is welcome news for police officers on the frontline and for all residents of the region whose safety is a priority for our government.”

The Automated Licence Plate Recognition Technology Grant is a one-time grant to help police services strengthen roadside law enforcement efforts and improve public safety across the province.

“This investment further demonstrates our government’s plan to ensure police services across Ontario have the resources and equipment they need to keep our communities safe,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “I am confident that this tool will be a tremendous asset to police services and help them combat incidents of auto theft and enhance public safety.”


  • ALPR technology is a system of cameras and supporting software that captures licence plate information and immediately compares plate numbers to a Ministry of Transportation (MTO) database with vehicle and vehicle owner information. It also has the capability of capturing vehicles of interest (e.g., amber alerts, stolen vehicles, suspended driver(s), etc.).
  • ALPR technology does not detect moving violations such as speeding, going through a red light or stop sign, and distracted driving.
  • The investment in ALPR technology supports Ontario’s recent move to eliminate licence plate renewal fees and stickers for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles and mopeds by allowing licence plate information to be read automatically without requiring an officer to see a physical licence sticker to validate a vehicle.