Crooks pay for new stingers in crackdown on car crime

Solihull News - - YOUR MONEY -

PO­LICE bat­tling an ex­plo­sion in car theft fig­ures have bought 19 new stingers in a bid to fight back.

And the de­vices – spiked metal rib­bons placed across a road to punc­ture tyres – are be­ing paid for by crim­i­nals them­selves.

The £ 10,000 cost of the de­vices came from money stripped from crooks and the sale of goods seized from them.

Car and truck theft fig­ures rock­eted by al­most 300 per cent in three years in the West Mid­lands, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased ear­lier this year by po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner David Jamieson. The fig­ures pub­lished by West Mid­lands Po­lice show that 3,420 ve­hi­cles were stolen in the re­gion in the first six months of 2018, com­pared with 1,210 over the same pe­riod in 2015.

The stingers are now on- board a fleet of Vauxhall In­signias used by re­sponse of­fi­cers to at­tend emer­gen­cies in Soli­hull and Coven­try.

The first suc­cess­ful ar­rest us­ing the new stingers came on Septem­ber 23 when of­fi­cers pa­trolling the Alles­ley area of Coven­try spot­ted an Audi A3, which was stolen in Au­gust, trav­el­ling on fake plates. A stinger was used to punc­ture its tyres and, fol­low­ing a chase, the driver was ar­rested. A can of CS spray was found in the car.

A 25- year- old man from Wil­len­hall, Coven­try, was later charged with dan­ger­ous driv­ing, pos­sess­ing CS spray, driv­ing with­out in­surance and driv­ing with no li­cence.

Sgt Dale Hughes said: “Each stinger costs about £ 500 but this sin­gle use re­sulted in the re­cov­ery of a stolen car with a value of £ 8,000, the re­cov­ery of a CS can­is­ter and the driver be­ing charged with mul­ti­ple of­fences. It’s sat­is­fy­ing to know that these de­vices are be­ing funded di­rectly through money that has been seized from crim­i­nals.”

A po­lice stinger de­vice

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