Caught red-handed

PUBLISHED: 03:17 25 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:31 24 May 2010

CAR thieves across North Somerset have been caught on camera in the latest police bid to combat crime

CAR thieves across North Somerset have been caught on camera in the latest police bid to combat crime.A special covert capture car fitted with tiny cameras has been snapping criminals halfway through a break-in.So far 18 offenders have been caught red-handed, hauled before the court and been prosecuted.The car has been so successful on the streets of North Somerset the police have invested in a whole fleet as part of a car-camera-action campaign. The vehicles will be placed in crime hot spots around the district.Superintendent Julian Moss, head of operations in North Somerset, said: "When the vehicle is broken into, we have clear recorded images of the perpetrator, who is unaware that their illegal actions have been recorded, enabling us to inflict a successful arrest and prosecution."This latest method to combat vehicle crime is having the desired effects. It has resulted in 18 offenders being removed from the streets and a total of 62 offences detected."We are confident this will send a strong message to those either involved in or considering vehicle crime - whether it is stealing cars or breaking into them - that they are at high risk of being caught."During the past three years car crime has fallen by 30 per cent in North Somerset but the arrival of new sophisticated and expensive satellite navigation systems has meant smash and grab style crimes have upped the figures."A lot of people are either leaving the systems on show in their vehicles or putting them in the glove department but then show that they have a sat nav system by leaving the holding bracket on the windscreen, which is effectively advertising the system to the car criminal."We are taking this action but we also need the public's help," said Supt Moss.Motorists are being asked to never leave items on show in their vehicles, look into security marking valuables and making a note of serial numbers and always remove navigation systems, their cradles and CD players from vehicles completely rather than leaving them in glove compartments.

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