Hempstead police use new tactic in crime crackdown

Police have begun using license plate scanners to crack down on drug-related crimes in Hempstead, however some residents and civil liberties advocates say it?s an invasion of privacy. The new police

News 12 Staff

Jan 16, 2008, 4:22 AM

Updated 6,025 days ago

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Police have begun using license plate scanners to crack down on drug-related crimes in Hempstead, however some residents and civil liberties advocates say it?s an invasion of privacy.
The new police tactic, which scans license plates of parked vehicles to determine if they belong in Hempstead, is one part of Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice?s new anti-drug initiative. Police will then send letters to the owners of cars that do not belong in the area, noting the time and location of the scan. Rice hopes the scrutiny will cause potential drug dealers to steer clear of Hempstead.
While some residents welcome efforts to reduce crime, some are concerned that the practice could become a nuisance to honest citizens.
?Your license plate?s going to get scanned because you came to visit your family?? questioned one female resident.
However, Rice reminds residents if they have legitimate reasons to be in the neighborhood, they have nothing to worry about.
Civil liberties activists warn that the practice might even be unconstitutional.
According to Rice?s office, 84 non-Hempstead vehicles were identified by police officers patrolling village streets this weekend.


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