Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Students to get laptop trackers

It is not yet known how much the scheme will cost
A laptop

Students in NI will soon be able to have a tracker installed in their laptops free of charge by the police.

It follows a series of burglaries in which laptops were stolen in the Holylands area of Belfast, where many students live.

If a computer is stolen, officers hope they will able to use the tracker to trace its movements remotely.

A PSNI spokeswoman said the "greenlight to purchase the relevant software had been given".

A start date for the scheme is yet to be decided upon, however the spokeswoman said it would be "sometime in the near future".

She also said that, at this stage, it was impossible to say how much the initiative would cost, but that it was intended to dramatically reduce the number of student laptops being stolen.

Nora Duncan, Students' Union president at the University of Ulster, said: "We would welcome any effort being made to help students keep their property safe.

"We already work closely with the police on a number of issues and will inform our students about this particular scheme when more information becomes available."

Ms Ducan's counterpart at Queen's University Belfast, Ciarnan Helferty, said he hoped the initiative would lead to a "reduction in break-ins at private student accommodation".

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