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Trapping burglars with technology
26 March 2010
Home Office funding is helping police take advantage of the latest technology to catch burglars.
The securing homes programme has seen £2m allocated between 16 polices forces to buy high-tech equipment to help identify and catch burglars.
Some forces have used the funding to set up 'trap houses' and 'trap vehicles'. These are used in areas which police believe are being targeted by burglars. When criminals break into the property or vehicle, they could be recorded by hidden cameras. Furthermore, any items taken may be remote tagged or marked with ultraviolet inks, which could help police to recover them and make arrests.
Other items purchased by forces included automatic number plate recognition systems, tracking equipment, forensic scanners, intruder alarms, CCTV and property marking kits.
Home Office minister, Alan Campbell said: 'This new equipment will not only help police catch the criminals who harm communities, it will help prevent crime as well. Once burglars realise the home they’re breaking into might be covered by hidden cameras they might start to think twice.'
Forces are already seeing results thanks to the new equipment. As part of Operation Breaker in Oxford, prolific burglar Jason Medlicott was jailed for two years and nine months. This was after he was caught breaking into a 'trap room' set up in halls of residence at Oxford University. Medlicott initially denied the offence but when officers showed him the video footage he admitted to the offence in full.