to be honest I haven't finished this, I had to wait so long for the components to come from HK and then we were close to Christmas and I was very busy so haven't been back to it yet.
However, I did get the number plate recognition bit working. I used the JavaANPR library (http://javaanpr.sourceforge.net/
) which has a bit of documentation and compiled first time for me. It worked fine with all of their test images, but not with my test images of our cars at home and I realised that the font on the UK number plates was quite different to the European ones in the supplied test images. I set to work and created a set of reference images of UK number plate characters and loaded this into the JavaANPR with some tweaked settings and that seems to work well now.
If you were interested in using the JavaANPR and you are in the UK I would be happy to send you over my UK number plate reference images and what settings I used etc. Just let me have an email address.