Crime car catches cross-border criminals

Travelling criminals crossing the borders of West Lancashire are being stopped in their tracks thanks to equipment that follows their every move.

Jan 11, 2007
By David Howell
Andy Pope (left) receives his award from Lord Lingfield, Chairman of the Association of Super Recognisers.

Travelling criminals crossing the borders of West Lancashire are being stopped in their tracks thanks to equipment that follows their every move.

West Lancashire Crime and Reduction Partnership (WLCRP) has given £5,000 towards specialist devices. This allows officers to access vital information whist on the road patrolling the boundaries of the district.

Criminals on the run tend to use routes through West Lancashire to reach their destinations in Merseyside and Greater Manchester – usually to commit crimes. New equipment has been purchased to make it easier to track down criminals.

The new kit is inside a 2.8l Twin Turbo Vauxhall Vectra Liveried police car, including CCTV cameras, DVD recording systems, an Automatic Number Plate Recognition device, a computer database allowing access to the Police National Computer and the new electronic fingerprinting system being trialled by ten forces across the country as part of operation Lantern.

Bill Taylor, chairman of the WLCDRP, said: “This initiative is helping us to tackle important PSA1 Government targets such as burglary dwelling and vehicle crime because we find that these are the type of offences travelling criminals are likely to commit.”

Since the border patrol car was first launched 18 months ago, there have been approximately 150 arrests made. It is expected that this figure will greatly increase with the new equipment in place.

Inspector Neil Smith said: “This ‘crime car’ is an example of how we use technology to target the criminal element. The speed and instant access to such information allows improved effective deterrent to the potential thieves entering and leaving the West Lancashire boundaries. Staff deployed to the vehicle are advanced trained drivers and have the capability to respond and apprehend most vehicles due to the power available and their specially equipped vehicle.”

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