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Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Decoy car to trap thieves
Police car
The decoy cars will be fitted with remote control devices
Thieves are being tempted by decoy cars which will be left on the roads of Essex by police.

Cars will be fitted with high-tech equipment which will allow police to watch, track and seize control of them.

Police will know immediately if the cars are broken into or driven away and be able to monitor their movements, location and speed.

Remote control technology also means police will be able to take control of the decoy cars in a scheme which is said to be the first of its kind in Britain.

Warning posters

Detective Sergeant Andy Richardson said: "Unlike a traditional car chase, the odds are stacked completely against the thief who, whenever police decide, will find they cannot control the stolen vehicle and certainly cannot escape capture."

Posters warning thieves they could be stealing a decoy car will be put up in Harlow, where the cars are being introduced next week.

The idea has been developed from a similar scheme in Minneapolis in the United States and if successful could be extended across Essex and the rest of the country.

Last year more than 2.6 million privately-owned vehicles were targeted by thieves and joyriders, according to the British Crime Survey.

Click here to go to Essex
See also:

18 Sep 01 | UK
Buses to 'screen' crime
13 Nov 00 | UK Politics
'Cyber cops' plan unveiled
25 Mar 00 | Sci/Tech
Crime-fighting's hi-tech future
09 Jul 98 | Sci/Tech
Hi-tech PCs on patrol
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