Yeah its called ANPR, and is fitted to most traffic police cars as well as being stationary. My understanding is a camera costs around 7500 -12000 per install and carries out around 35 million reads across the country per day.
Its also used by private parking companies to manage how long a car is parked in a car park.
Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) is a technology for automatically reading vehicle number plates. The Home…en.wikipedia.org
Great job on the hack though Tait Brown, interesting read.